The design space of input devices

  • Card S
  • Mackinlay J
  • Robertson G
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A bewildering variety of devices for communication from humans to
computers now exists on the market. In order to make sense of this
variety, and to aid in the design of new input devices, we propose
a framework for describing and analyzing input devices. Following
Mackinlay's semantic analysis of the design space for graphical presentations,
our goal is to provide tools for the generation and test of input
device designs. The descriptive tools we have created allow us to
describe the semantics of a device and measure its expressiveness.
Using these tools, we have built a taxonomy of input devices that
goes beyond earlier taxonomies of Buxton & Baecker and Foley, Wallace,
& Chan. In this paper, we build on these descriptive tools, and proceed
to the use of human performance theories and data for evaluation
of the effectiveness of points in this design space. We focus on
two figures of merit, footprint and bandwidth, to illustrate this
evaluation. The result is the systematic integration of methods for
both generating and testing the design space of input devices.

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  • Stuart K Card

  • Jock D Mackinlay

  • George G Robertson

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