HCIL-98-12

Meyer, J., Bederson, B.
September 1998
HCIL-98-12, CS-TR-3965, UMIACS-TR-98-74
In this paper we examine the role of visual aesthetics in how people interact with computers. Specifically, we are interested in whether simply adopting a sketch-like visual appearance in a drawing application encourages users to interact with the application more freely or rapidly than they would if they were using the standard, precise, rectilinear appearance that most drawing applications now supply.

We carried out two user studies. In the first study, we asked members of the University of Maryland Art History department to draw a series of diagrams using two different line styles. In the second experiment, we used the World Wide Web to collect drawing diagrams from a much broader set of participants. Both studies reveal that subjects draw more quickly using the sketch-like ('wavy') line style than the straight line style.

Keywords: Informal interfaces, sketching, non-photorealistic rendering, rapid prototying, pen-based computing, aesthetics

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