Experiences with the Alternate Reality Kit: An Example of the Tension between Literalism and Magic

  title={Experiences with the Alternate Reality Kit: An Example of the Tension between Literalism and Magic},
  author={Randall B. Smith},
  journal={IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications},
This article presents an overview of the Alternate Reality Kit, an animated environment for creating interactive simulations. ARK is built upon a physical-world metaphor: All objects have an image, a position, a velocity, and the ability to experience forces. Users manipulate objects with a mouse-operated "hand," which enables them to carry and throw objects, press buttons, and operate sliders. The interface features are discussed in light of a general user interface tension between literalism… 

Figures from this paper

Embodiment and Interface Metaphors: Comparing Computer Filing Systems

It is suggested that even a recent radical interface design has failings and relies on similar conceptual structures for its understanding as designs it seeks to overthrow.

The role of metaphor in user interface design

The thesis discusses the question of how unfamiliar computing systems, particularly those with graphical user interfaces, are learned and used. In particular, the approach of basing the design and

Expanding the Interaction Lexicon for 3D Graphics

This thesis focuses on one of the key challenges for interactive 3D graphics: creating the interaction lexicon and presents 18 ideas that will enhance existing techniques or provide starting points for further exploration, including creating copies to aid selection, multiple light-weight views of an object, system maintained repositories, and symbolic linking.

Is the Trashcan Being Ironic? Analysing Direct Manipulation User Interfaces Using a Contemporary Theory of Metaphor

  • M. Treglown
  • Computer Science
    Visual Representations and Interpretations
  • 1999
By adopting an analogy in the appearance and behaviour of the on-screen objects that make up the model world, users’ existing knowledge can be carried over and the novel interactive system will be easier to learn and use than if new knowledge structures have to be acquired.

Animation: from cartoons to the user interface

The Self user interface has served as a testbed for the application of cartoon animation techniques as a means of making the interface easier to understand and more pleasant to use and cartoon animation has much to lend to user interfaces to realize both affective and cognitive benefits.

Developing Embodied Familiarity with Hyperphysical Phenomena

Spatial computing (VR, etc) reveals an expansive and underexplored possibility-space of interactions in which the physics subtending affordances and phenomena can itself be designed, rewarding novel

What is Intuitive Interaction? Balancing Users' Performance and Satisfaction with Natural User Interfaces

An exploratory, mixed methods study investigated three top-down approaches to designing intuitive interaction mappings for a whole body system implemented with camera vision and found that while the metaphoric design enhanced users’ performance at completing tasks, the lack of discoverability of the interaction model left them feeling incompetent and dissatisfied.

Experiencing SELF Objects: An Object-Based Artificial Reality*

The goal is to make the user interface invisible, and thus make SELF objects and the SELF world real.



Icon-Based Human-Computer Interaction

  • D. Gittins
  • Computer Science
    Int. J. Man Mach. Stud.
  • 1986

Human factors testing in the design of Xerox's 8010 “Star” office workstation

Three of the human-factors experiments are described in this paper: A selection schemes test determined the number of buttons on the mouse pointing device and the meanings of these buttons for doing text selection, and an icon test showed us the significant parameters in the shapes of objects on the display screen.

Design principles for human-computer interfaces

The first part of this paper discusses some the properties that useful principles should have and warns of the dangers of the tar pits and the sirens of technology.

Metaphor, computing systems, and active learning

Taking the goal-directed learner-initiated learning process through which metaphors become relevant and effective in learning seriously affords an analysis of metaphor that explains why metaphors are intrinsically open-ended and how theiropen-endedness stimulates the construction of mental models.

Smalltalk-80: The Language and Its Implementation

This book is the first detailed account of the Smalltalk-80 system and is divided into four major parts: an overview of the concepts and syntax of the programming language, a specification of the system's functionality, and an example of the design and implementation of a moderate-size application.

Analogy considered harmful

An analogy between the computer and some situation familiar to the user is drawn, so that the new user can draw upon his knowledge about the familiar situation in order to reason about the workings of the mysterious new computer system.

The Structure of Analogical Models in Science.

A structural characterization of good science analogy is proposed using a theoretical approach in which complex metaphors and analogies are treated as structure-mappings between domains, to delineate good from poor science analogy.

The psychology of human-computer interaction

This work focuses on applying Psychology to Design Reprise, and the GOMS Model of Manuscript Editing, as an application to Information-Processing Psychology.

Metaphor and the Cognitive Representation of Computing Systems

In learning, people develop new cognitive structures by metaphorically extending old ones. The metaphors spontaneously generated by new users will predict the ease with which they can master a

The Programming Language Aspects of ThingLab, a Constraint-Oriented Simulation Laboratory

The programming language aspects of a graphic simulation laboratory named ThingLab, which is an object-oriented system that employs inheritance and part-whole hierarchies to describe the structure of a simulation, are presented.