Design exploration with useless rules and eye tracking

Jowers, Iestyn; Prats, Miquel; McKay, Alison and Garner, Steven (2011). Design exploration with useless rules and eye tracking. In: 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED11), 15-18 Aug 2011, Copenhagen, Denmark.



Shape reinterpretation is an essential component in design generation and exploration. However, computational design tools, such as computer-aided design systems, offer poor support for shape reinterpretation and, as a result, do not provide effective support for design ideation. A key difficulty in realising systems that support shape reinterpretation is the issue of interface – how can a user guide a system with respect to their interpretations of a shape? In this paper, research is presented that explores this question through the development of a software prototype. The prototype uses identity shape rules (so-called ‘useless rules’) and eye tracking to support the creation and manipulation of shapes. The paper presents theoretical developments that have informed development of the prototype, including outcomes of a series of eye tracking studies. The software prototype builds on the results from these studies and uses gaze data in combination with traditional mouse-based input to restructure designed shapes based on the visual attention of the users, so that manipulation according to the users’ interpretations is afforded.

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