1. APA Citation :
Robert J.K. Jacob, Audrey Girouard, Leanne M. Hirshfield, Michael S. Horn, Orit Shaer, Erin Treacy Solovey, and Jamie Zigelbaum. (2008). Reality-based interaction: a framework for post-WIMP interfaces. In Proceedings of the twenty-sixth annual SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI ’08). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 201-210. DOI=10.1145/1357054.1357089 http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1357054.1357089
2. Purpose :
In this paper, the authors propose the theme of ‘Reality-Based Interaction (RBI)’ for unifying and tie together the emerging interaction styles for easier user understanding and testing them. Also, the authors suggest the following purposes of RBI in this paper :
a. How ‘Reality Based Interaction’ is different and diverse from ‘WIMP’ (Window, Icon, Menu and Pointing Device) or Direct Manipulation Interaction Styles such as not depending on interactions with 2-D Widgets like Menus and Icons etc.,
b. Presenting the existing concepts of ‘Reality Based Interaction’ in the current interaction styles by presenting their case studies.
c. This would provide insights for new design and clear pathways to provide opportunities for future research direction in the field of Human Computer Interaction.
3. Methods :
This paper’s scholars use 4 main reality based interaction themes with a set of conditions in which one of the RBI concept can be given up. The main RBI concepts are derived from day-to-day to life that completely defines the whole concept of ‘Reality Based Interaction’. If the Interaction Concept mimics those themes without any trade-offs, they are categorized under ‘Reality-Based Interaction’ conceptualization. Those Interaction Themes are as follows :
a. Naïve Physics : People have the general common sense about their current physical environment.
b. Body Awareness & Skills : People have the general awareness of their own body and ability for controlling them.
c. Environment Awareness & Skills : The skills of people for negotiating, manipulating, and navigating within their environment.
d. Social Awareness & Skills : The knowledge of others present in the environment and the ability to interact with them.
The following are the set of conditions in which one of the RBI principles can be sacrificed. They have also explained how the following can be sacrificed in reality for more gain and user experience. Like one of their examples in which they did explain of how walking can be more efficient at certain situation rather than driving a car or riding a bike. :
a. Expressive Power
They applied their concept in the following innovative and upcoming interfaces to prove the validity of their claim through case studies. Their respective interaction type is given after the arrows following them. :
Case Study 1 : Urban Resource Planning (URP) -> Tangible Environment
Case Study 2 : Apple iPhone -> Touch Based Interaction
Case Study 3 : Electronic Tourist Guide Application -> Location and Orientation Aware Interactive GPS based Application
Case Study 4 : Visual-Cliff Virtual Environment -> Virtual Reality Environment
4. Main Findings :
The researchers found that every interaction system that they analyzed tethered to the concepts of RBI but sometimes sacrificed the rule for improved user experience. The main findings of the case studies were the following :
a. Each system that they analyzed and studied had inspiration from the real world which made them more innovative but also gave up a few concepts of reality when necessary to obtain additional design goals and enriched User Experience. For example,
i. Case Study 1 : For example, URP system gave up reality for making users to touch the virtual building to change their color which in reality is not possible.
ii. Case Study 2 : Trade-off of Reality for Improved Accessibility in its several inbuilt applications like the Safari browser displaying the full web page sacrificing the readability.
iii. Case Study 3 : Trade-off of Reality for User’s Expressive Power by the reduced press of Buttons for interacting with the system .
iv. Case Study 4 : For walking in the virtual world, the real world distance is sacrificed by increasing navigational direction with reduced steps by the human controller of the system. Here, it is a practicality trade-off.
b. Each system strongly mainly oriented itself with the concepts proposed by the Authors.
c. The 4 main defining terms seemed more practical to analyze the emerging interfaces.
5. Analysis :
In the lines of Research, I liked the way on how they connected the emerging Human-Computer Interaction trends with the Reality Based Interaction (RBI) concept. But, it would have been nicer if there is a software framework for analyzing the capability of RBI methodologies for solving the case study along with the case study. It can also have been a good industry standard reference in the development of future standards and improvement for future interaction trends. This paper was published way back in 2008 and there are huge improvements in trends of all the HCI types analyzed in the case studies. I am interested to read other journals that are based on this.
Personally, I am much interested in HCI devices in general, since the blisters in fingers because of playing games all day long. All these days, Natural User Interface (NUI) would grab my interests where ever or when ever I read them. But, since now, I would also be looking for RBI. I would analyze each and every current interaction trends applying these principles.