Moldable Focus and Context Displays
Parker, David W.
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Moldables is a thin, flexible shape-changing screen that retains shape when deformed and adapts the Graphical User Interface (GUI) layout to particular shapes. We extracted the 14 most popular shapes for a Moldable from a participatory study using an early prototype. In a second study, participants chose the appropriateness of four different user interface elements - thumbnails, focus item, menu, and toolbar - for shape regions in both landscape and portrait orientations. A factor analysis on participant preferences revealed two principal factors that influenced the popularity of each UI element in each shape: the size of the shape region and its location on the screen. The results of the factor analysis were used to develop an algorithm that updates the display automatically whenever the shape is changed. We compared the algorithm’s output with the mean participant preferences from our study to confirm our factor analysis. We found that, when deformed, the device updated the GUI with the preferred layout 79% of the time.