Experiment - Physical GUI prototyping

March 10, 2016


In designing the overall UI structure which consists of informative structure, speculatively measuring its adaptability of applicating it to the actual environment is crucial for configuring the functionality of what it is showed. In this chapter, to experimentally gauge the usability of UI structure that is anticipated to apply to the physical environment, I attempted to design several types of UI structure which could possibly be utilized in our daily lives, such as, navigating music application while or on the verge of taking a shower, verifying today’s weather forecast, checking the state of food in a refrigerator.




Preparation Process

Figure 1: Preparation for conducting experiment. GUI I designed was mostly about applications considered to widely used in a daily life: Weatherforecast, Music Player, Lock Screen, Menu, Search Bar, etc.



For conducting experiment, I designed diverse types of GUIs which are expected to adapt to physical environments in a daily life. To smoothly conduct the experiment I utilized an adhesive transparent paper when printing out, so I intended to easily peel the GUI graphic off just as a sticker and attach to the place or any surface where user want to apply as playing.



Attaching physical GUIs on the surface



As recently evidenced as a speculative technology in Industrial Design field, displaying GUI on the transparent surface becomes to be considered as a pivotal platform in materializing interactive interface. For instance, CES 2012, Samsung showed “Samsung Smart Window”, which consisted of totally transparent LCD that displays GUIs which is immersively responsive to user’s touch. In this phase, I experimentally attached a weatherforecast GUI sticker on the glass of window in order to verify the virtual adaptability that my thesis project’s direction has had. Belows are the evidences of what I implemented within an environment of where I currently live as self-experiment.





Figure 2: Weatherforecast GUI on the glass of window



Figure 3: Music Blog formed -GUI on the glass of window




Figure 4: I thought several scenarios of applying different kinds of GUIs on the surface of refrigerator. A picture on the left is about the situation of on the verge of clicking an icon of favorite song when opening a refrigerator. The other scenario I come up with is the situation of unlocking the door to get a food or soda.



Figure 5: In a same manner, I thought of a certain scenario that there is a transparent locking system on the surface of door so that user can utilize it instead of bringing keys to open it.


Figure 6: Transparent lock screen on door handle


Figure 7: Transparent lock screen for privately drinking water


Figure 8: Various adaptability about applying weatherforecast GUI onto certain spaces. To explore specifically, I chosed several surface which is suitable for attaching it as a venue for getting provided weather information: left picture on the top is that I attached a sticker right beside of lighting switch on the wall of livingroom. Rest of pictures is that I attached it on the mirror in bathroom. For intention of what I did in this way, I thought about general behavioral pattern that most of people show in a process of perceiving daily information or interplaying with application through smart device(e.g. weather information, schedule, playing music they like etc) in morning.




Figure 9: Virtual scene of searching what I have to deal with in search menu


Figure 10: What do you usually deal with in case you have just got such an incredible idea helpful for your work right on the verge of going out? Inspired by that thought, I attached the search bar GUI sticker on the column near the exit door of MID studio, and assume the situation that user improvisationally search the keyword just coming out of brain on the verge of leaving the building.


Figure 13: Virtual scene of checking on today’s weatherforecast and news feed through transparent GUI displaying on the window of MID studio, RISD.


Figure 13: Virtual scene of  transparent, digital control part for physical device.





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