Monday, March 3, 2008

Zooming and Expanding Interfaces / Custom componenets

The inspiration I got from the reviewed papers on using a zooming interaction style to developing a set of zoom based interface components. The interaction style is suitable for gaze to overcome the inaccuracy and jitter of eye movements. My intention is that the interface components should be completely standalone, customizable and straightforward to use. Ideally included in new projects by importing one file and writing one line of code.

The first component is a dwell-based menu button that on fixation will a) provide a dwelltime indicator by animating a small glow effect surrounding the button image and b) after 200ms expand an ellipse that houses the menu options. This produces a two step dwell activation while making use of the display area in a much more dynamic way. The animation is put in place to keep the users fixation remained at the button for the duration of the dwell time. The items in the menu are displayed when the ellipse has reached its full size.

This gives the user a feedback in his parafoveal region and at the same time the glow of the button icon has stopped indicating a full dwelltime execution. (bit hard to describe in words, perhaps easier to understand from the images below) The parafoveal region of our visual field is located just outside the foveal region (where the full resolution vision takes place). The foveal area is about the size of a thumbnail on an armslengths distance, items in the parafoveal region still can be seen but the resolution/sharpness is reduced. We do see them but have to make a short saccade for them to be in full resolution. In other words the menu items pop out at a distance that attracts a short saccade which is easily discriminated by the eye tracker. (Just4fun test your visual field)

Before the button has received focus

Upon fixation the button image displays an animated glow effect indicating the dwell process. The image above illustrates how the menu items pops out on the ellipse surface at the end of the dwell. Note that the ellipse grows in size during a 300ms period, exact timing is configurable by passing a parameter in the XAML design page.

The second prototype I have been working on is also inspired by the usage of expanding surfaces. The purpose is a gaze driven photo gallery where thumbnail sized image previews becomes enlarged upon glancing at them. The enlarged view displays an icon which can be fixated to make the photo appear in full size.

Displaying all the images in the users "My pictures" folder.

Second step, glancing at the photos. Dynamically resized. Optionally further enlarged.

Upon glancing at the thumbnails they become enlarged which activates the icon at the bottom of each photo. This enables the user to make a second fixation on it to bring the photo into a large view. This view has to two icons to navigate back and forth (next photo). By fixating outside the photo the view goes back to the overview.

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