Prototyping shape-changing interfaces - An evaluation of living hinges’ abilities to resemble organic, shape-changing interfaces

DS 87-4 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 4: Design Methods and Tools, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Jensen, Matilde Bisballe; Blindheim, Jřrgen; Steinert, Martin
Series: ICED
Institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Section: Design Methods and Tools
Page(s): 287-296
ISBN: 978-1-904670-92-6
ISSN: 2220-4342


This paper presents an evaluation of nine laser cut living hinges in terms of their ability to resemble earlier defined properties of mechanical shape-changing interfaces. Such interfaces are expected to become more prominent in future human-machine-interactions. However, there is a lack of empirical research regarding how users respond to such interactions since the actual interface can be difficult to build. The project therefore aims to prototype the user experience of a shape-changing interface through more simple methods yet with convincing, robust and organic appearance. Based on previous research we define nine criteria to evaluate the patterns ability to imitate a shape-changing interface. Grounded on those criteria we select the pattern with flexibilities resembling organic behaviour the most. This pattern is used to build the Breathing Box, utilizing a computer-controlled actuator that is able to alter the shape of the surface. Hence, we illustrate how designers can move from low-fidelity prototypes to functional prototypes allowing repeatable experiments. Such controllable experiments in turn allow a quantitative evaluation of user experience of shape-changing interfaces.

Keywords: Evaluation, User centred design, Design practice, Multisensory product experience


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