Mobile Interfaces - 2

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Reading Critiques

yubo feng 11:32:47 10/12/2014

Two papers are talking about mobile phone interface design, unlike the former class topic of which is about using sensors and camera to detect human activities and to perform, these two papers are about mobile phone display. In the first paper, "Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations", authors try to build the display system based on users' hobbits; and in the second paper, "Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays", in order to monitor the users' activities and encourage users to aware more about his or her daily life. Both of the papers try to explain one idea is that: users' activities could be changed without conscious due to properly conducted way performed by mobile phone. In the first paper, in order to avoid overlaps caused by Halo algorithm, authors build wedge. In the second paper, the UbiFit system build a different way to perform users' daily activities in a easy and friendly way with which users' performances are influenced, even in holidays, the influence are still works.

nro5 (Nathan Ong) 20:01:32 10/15/2014

Review of "Flowers or a Robot Army?: Encouraging Awareness and Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays" by Sunny Consolvo, Predrag Klasnja, David McDonald, Daniel Avrahami, Jon Froehlich, Louis LeGrand, Ryan Libby, Keith Mosher, and James Landay The authors have created software to aid users in gently reminding them about their physical activity habits. The software showcases the milestones that the user has reached by presenting a background; the more flowers a background has, the more goals the user has reached. Other indicators showcase past achievements and not reaching goals presents no negative reinforcement (aside from an empty field). It's quite interesting to see how humans act in the presence of a virtual reminder. In a sense, the wallpaper approach is very similar to a sticky note, where a note stuck to the computer monitor is always in view but easily ignored. But a sticky note also provides a reminder (whether in the form of a phrase or word) to what a user needs to do, but can be ignored if the user is busy. The wallpaper is a singular reminder to the user to stay active, but can be ignored when the user is too busy to think about it. This approach also reminds me of the gamification of exercising via mobile applications or websites. Essentially, the paper uses positive reinforcement by showing flowers. Gamification would increase the stakes by either comparing the user to everyone else or by allowing the user to publicize his or her own progress. While there is a possibility of users becoming discouraged, the general tendency is having users become more invested into their activity to raise their own rankings and to be able to brag about their progress. Some games go even further and provide real prizes that users can win. The present but silent background is only the first step in enhancing a user's experience in mundane or required tasks. As the paper mentioned however, there is a lack of diversity among representations. Having a meadow with flowers and butterflies does not necessarily appeal to a wide audience. Many times, software has a hard time trying to appeal to everyone, or appeals to only a niche. With such a simple mechanism for users, an easy way to entice more users is simply by allowing multiple representations of the goals achieved. For example, one user requested robots rather than flowers. There are so many possibilities for this prototype since it is very simple and easily extendable. One limitation with the software was that it could only detect certain actions like walking or stair-climbing. There are many more exercises that cannot be detected by a pedometer that count towards staying active, but it seems the user must declare whether or not he or she was successful in those types of exercises. In order to make the software truly successful and accessible, then all types of activities must be able to be both represented and detected, which is difficult sometimes, especially since many people would not necessarily take their mobile with them while exercising. With the advent of wearable smart technology however, software like this becomes more feasible and more able to assist users in staying active, so it remains to be seen how users will use fitness applications with these wearable devices. Review of “Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations” by Sean Gustafson, Patrick Baudisch, Carl Gutwin, and Pourang Irani This paper explains the usage of “wedges” or isosceles triangles as indicators for off-screen landmarks on mobile map applications. The authors believe that wedges, assuming no overlap and enough visibility, are better than preexisting markers for off-screen distance and direction, particularly halos or arrows. They test that hypothesis by a user study that compares wedges and halos. It seems unsurprising that wedges that do not overlap and have enough visibility will be more accurate than halos. If a user does not have to deal with attempting to discern overlapping lines, then the amount of human thought decreases, the less confusing the display becomes, and the system becomes easier to use. It was also interesting to note that the width of the base of the wedge also corresponded to the approximate distance away the landmark was, which is similar to what the halo did in previous work, but it was implemented with wedges in a way that would not cause overlaps while still conveying the same information. One problem that may occur is in the event when there are several points of interest off in the same direction. Even though there can be many non-overlapping wedges, there still could be information overload with too many wedges appearing in the map’s edge. This can be solved by doing some type of clustering for landmarks that are close together, and having one wedge point to several landmarks in a local area. The problem is whenever the user begins to approach the area; should the larger wedge for the cluster begin to break up? At what point should it do so? Does this change the definition for size of the wedge? If not, how can the user realize through visual feedback that there are multiple landmarks in the distance? While this is outside of the scope of this particular paper, this would be an interesting research direction to explore to further reduce the amount of human thought required for reading the wedges. However, such a feature is not useful for a small number of landmarks, so a hybrid system may be more appropriate, where combining wedges will be applicable for maps that have many landmarks outside of the visible area.

Bhavin Modi 20:39:58 10/19/2014

Reading critique on Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays UBIFIT, a software developed for mobile devices to be a part of our environment and as a means to increase our awareness of daily life activities. The Software in this paper focuses on self-monitoring physical activities and conducts a three month long in-situ user study. The aim of UBIFIT is too determine the effects of a stylized, abstract representation of a user’s physical activity behaviour so as to motivate them, and make them aware. The study includes a comprehensive research involving 28 participants over a 3 month long period, with each given either a glanceable display and fitness monitor or one of the other. It showed that the glanceable display clearly had an effect on the users has their activity charts were recorded and compared, and one could infer that they met their physical activity goals and managed or lost some weight even during the holiday season. The paper gives an insight to human cognitive thinking, i.e., not punishing the user for not completing his goals, but just a reminder and enforcing positive reward based thinking. It shows us innovative ways to utilize the mobile phones, different from just enhancing phones through sensors, making use of virtually and a cognitive empty space. Similarly we could have the background image be dark and fiery when some deadline is nearing and happy when you are all done. A constant un-obstructive reminder of things to do. On further analysis it does not provide definitive proof that this works, in cases when people just switch it off, just so they are not constantly reminded of not achieving their goals. Another effect of adding entries to journals, which may not always be exact or true to be honest, just so the user can feel better. The idea of integration into the phone sounds good, better than carrying the fitness device, as mentioned some thinking will need to be done in that respect. A fun addition could be helping with the physical activities, giving tips or some activity that the user may enjoy based on past preferences. The fact about overcoming the novelty effect was informative, to determine if the product can maintain its applicability as a mainstream product. The interesting facts I found lie in the inferences made at the end. The authors observed the fact the device itself made the user aware of the need of physical activity. The only difference being there was no observable goal or summary that motivated him. This forces us to think maybe in terms of affordances, and lays out the framework for novel ideas to make the phone a method for awareness of multiple situations in one’s environment. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Reading Critique on Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations An overview of a new approach to visualize off-screen objects for better location accuracy and less clutter at the same time. The new approach propagates the use of Wedges as distance cues from the original approach of halos and arrows, the methods are compared, advantages and disadvantages discussed. The objective of the paper can be used to show us how we can build on others work and improve it for better results. The important aspects lie in the fact that integrating the old and new approach leads to the best results. Wedges work better in corners, and for locate and avoid tasks, whereas halos work better for closer tasks and equally well on the sides. Integrating both would give the optimal solution as of now. To look into the need for such cues, is clearly visible when we zoom into maps for example and still want an overview, or information about now off-screen objects. The simplest way was to use arrows, but they did not provide distance cues and mapping to close lying objects was a problem too. The use of halos for similar purposes had the problem of cluttering for dense representations, and when objects were located from the corners. Wedges were introduced to overcome these drawbacks. The working of wedges involve the concept of amodal perception and completion., and the drawback can be seen in determining closer objects as some calculations are involved unlike halos which are intuitive. So, building on it, wedges are represented by a base and two legs, an aperture (angle) between them. The larger the aperture the farther the object. The use of a wedge layout algorithm ensured minimal overlap using three main methods of rotation, aperture and intrusion (maximum of 20 pixels). This ensured better representation in the corners. User studies were carries keeping the same tasks as done while testing for halo, so as have an apt comparison. The findings are shown and are as expected, except for the closer task, and the difference for avoid task was also not that significant. Though better there is still scope for improvement, in term of better a better algorithm or some different representation scheme all together. To build on these techniques appears a more viable option, for avoidance tasks, adding a translucent colour scheme to depict high traffic densities can improve performance and indicates closeness by a similar method could make the effectiveness of wedges as good as halos.

Yanbing Xue 10:12:49 10/20/2014

The first paper is mainly about a triangle-based location representation system, is introduced in this paper. It aims to improve user accuracy when interpreting distance data provided in a display. This paper demonstrates a technique for displaying off-screen location information that helps easily convey a sense of distance to the user. Although many techniques have been tried, few have been as successful Halo, which is related to Wedge. Halo represents location and distance by creating circles around a point so that they just barely show up on screen. Users can easily understand the distance and center by extrapolating the entire shape from just a small portion. The authors explained that spatial tasks become very difficult on mobile devices so some sort of indicator of off-screen locations is needed. The authors saw that Halo has one severe shortcoming, and that is halos of the off-screen objects can overlap causing clutter on-screen and hurting the user experience. The advantage of Wedge over other systems like Halo, City Lights, and Arrow, is that wedge shapes have three variables that can change its properties, rotation, aperture, and intrusion. The researchers found they parameters can be tweaked to prevent most overlapping while still providing correct spatial and distance cues. Contextual views all use a symbolic or distorted representation of distance, and require some sort of geometry. Halo uses cinematography, an out-of-the-frame approach. It conveys positional information independent of scale. Wedges are an extension of this technique. With these, the position and distance can be realized by where the wedges converge. I believe this is a very good technique. ========== The second paper is mainly about UbiFit. It consists of a glanceable display, an interactive application, and a fitness device. UbiFit seeks to inform users of their activity using a stylized, abstract display. Some previous uses of stylized displays are Breakaway and Fish'n'Steps. Breakaway is a small sculpture that sits on a user's desk. I like the way authors setting three conditions of the study: full system, no glanceable display, and no fitness device. As two important components of UbiFit are fitness device and glanceable display (the interactive application is must have component), it is reasonable to set-up two separate experiments to study each component independently. Each of these two components has its own advantages: glanceable display is to gain user awareness and fitness device is for to automatic data entering. The result is very interesting, the user awareness is better than automatic data entering in term of helping user maintain their physical activity. In addition to study design, experimental data analysis is also a good point of the paper. My main concern on the result, which is also explained in the discussion section, is the issue of using fitness device. Reading the section on fitness device, I was thinking of issues this device may cause to user. From these comments, they can analyze the users’ idea. According to the experiment result, it proves that through this glanceable display design, the users can view their status and keep their practice. And also from the experiments, we can also see some ideas for further improvement of the experiment, such as allowing the user to choose their own setting, etc. I think this paper is a very interesting paper. The idea itself in this paper is not that difficult, but it is highly useful. And their work on the idea is really excellent. First, they took an iterative design to perfect their system. Second, they designed the interactive system for them to collect the user data. This paper is a very good example of how to really make a contribution from simple ideas.

longhao Li 15:55:57 10/20/2014

Critique for Wedge In general, this paper introduced a new system that uses part of triangles to represent where is the target that are off screen. Since people have the instance to fill up the missing part of some certain shape, people can easily find out the target, which are located at the corner of the triangle, by fill up the part of the triangle. This is a very new idea and it looks better than Halo to represent the target that off screen. By using amodal completion, user can easily predict where are the target off screen since it is easy to recovery a shape of triangle by knowing most part of it. Since Halo use circles, it is hard to predict where is the center of it when the representation of the circle is very small part of the circle. Even though that this is a good idea, it still has problems. Since the line of the triangle are strong so that the corner area are big at the target. It makes the prediction be less accurate. Also there are overlap problems that influence people judgment about where should the target is. The author did some approach to solve the problems, which are doing rotation, aperture and intrusion of the triangle to avoid overlap and thinner beams (line), to make it more accurate. From the idea that the author point out, which is the amodal completion, we can pseudo expend the screen size. I think this idea can be used for the development of other software such as some statistic software that doing plot of data. User can see the detail of the diagram with indicators that can show where is the regression line or some data that are important off screen. I think it can help the users to analysis the data. Critique for Flowers or a Robot Army This paper talked about a new system that monitoring people’s actions to see how many times people paid on doing activity and tell people the result as an achievement of game. This system encouraged people to do exercises. This paper is important because it not only point out that adding gamification to activity monitoring system will bring people interests to do exercises, but also it conducted comprehensive experiment that proof the viewpoint. Doing exercises by self will be hard to achieve the goal of training since there are less innovation while they encounter painful feelings. The experiment pointed out it also. The amount of exercise people do is dropping constantly after days. Giving motivations to user is the best way to let them to finish the training. Ubifit gives a good solution. When people finish one section of exercise, there will be a flower showed in the virtual garden (mobile application). Different kinds of exercise will be represented by different kinds of flowers so that if people want to fill in the garden with different flowers, they should do different exercises. It is the goal of training so that people are motivated. This is why it can help people to keep training themselves. In this paper, the activity monitoring system is a separated device that people carried. It is in small size, but still looks be big from nowadays’ perspective. But since it is a research project, this size is good. There are some similar commercial products in this days’ market. But they are on very small size. Since these days, smart phone develop so fast, there are more sensors embedded in the phone so that I think in the future, mobile phone can do the job that the monitoring device did and this system can be simpler and easier to be set up for users.

Eric Gratta 16:35:08 10/20/2014

Wedge: Clutter-free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations (2008) Sean Gustafson, Patrick Baudisch, Carl Gutwin, Pourang Irani This paper proposes an alternative method of signifying the location of off-screen objects to users. To begin, the authors discuss two previously proposed solutions, City Lights and Halo, identify their limitations, and put forth their technique, Wedge, as a solution that resolves the limitations of the others. This approach makes the problem being addressed clear: conveying both distance and direction to the user without creating screen clutter. Since the proposal is staged as an improvement on previous solutions, it makes sense that the paper contains experimental comparison between Wedge and Halo to provide empirical proof that the new solution works better for what was trying to be improved. They go further by discussing related work in interface design as well as psychology, introducing the theory of amodal completion as an influence on their choice of wedges and a possible justification for such a choice. One unique thing about this paper is how it borrowed many concepts from other disciplines. Although the theory of amodal completion was borrowed from psychology, a much more interesting borrowing was done and discussed thoroughly. The word “orbitals”, borrowed from chemistry, was used to describe the area or probability space where the user, based on the wedge, could expect the point to be. Since minimizing this area maps directly to their research goals (improving the accuracy of the user’s comprehension of their signifiers), they applied this to the formulae calculating the three different wedge parameters. This discussion of how to adjust the parameters in a way that maintained a small orbital appeared to me as a stroke of genius. To make their user study comparable to previous work in comparing Halo to City Lights, the exact same tasks were used. Unfortunately, I have a couple of strong criticisms for this paper. Why did they choose to discuss the straight-edge version in the paper when a curved base was used in the user study? Is it really so clear that there will be no significant difference in users’ interpretations of the straight versus curved base wedges? Also, the authors recommend designers to start using Wedge. Is that really justified? Wedge did not outperform Halo in the task for determining which off-screen objects are the furthest, which seems to be the most common of the three tasks studied. There are no practical circumstances in which the user is going to need to approximate the exact location of an off-screen object. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays (2008) Sunny Consolvo, Predrag Klasnja, David W. McDonald, Daniel Avrahami, Jon Froehlich, Louis LeGrand, Ryan Libby, Keith Mosher, James A. Landay It seems that this paper is essentially analyzing the long-term real-world use of a system proposed and studied on a smaller scale in a previous paper. This system (UbiFit) is one that provides fitness information about the user in an abstract and “stylized” way, maintaining privacy and also utilizing the background of mobile displays. Their display method puts the fitness information in the user’s sights each time they use their phone, but is purportedly non-intrusive. This work built on top of a previous, 3-week trial in an attempt to confirm that users would continue to be motivated by UbiFit after the novelty of the interface wore off. For this new study, the trail lasted 3 months and intentionally spanned the holiday season, a period of relative inactivity for most people. The authors made it clear that this context was important. The documentation provided about the user study was very useful in relation to the paper’s topic. The paper extensively included direct quotations from users, making it really clear what range of feedback was given about the system. This was especially valuable because the main challenge being tackled by technologies like UbiFit is the motivation of users; seeing their opinions of the system makes it possible to try and understand what features cause what kinds of reactions in users. The paper also included extensive descriptions of what kind of activities were carried out by the users and in what distribution, demonstrating to some extent the real effect of using the system had on user habits. To fully capture what the UbiFit accomplished, this paper should have shared the results of the survey that was conducted on the users in the study that asked about their fitness levels prior to the study. Without this information, it is unclear whether or not UbiFit encouraged a lifestyle change where users started becoming more active than they had been in the past, before using UbiFit. What the authors did demonstrate is that activity levels can be maintained, and the glance display prevents declines in activity. Never discussed is to what extent, if any, activity levels were increased overall by having the system available.

Xiyao Yin 16:41:51 10/20/2014

‘Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations ’ mainly describes a visualization technique called Wedge, which conveys direction and distance using an acute isosceles triangle, yet avoids overlap and clutter. Wedge optimizes three valuable design principles that aid users in reducing interpretation costs and increasing accuracy. Results in different figures also show that Wedge has better performance than the former technique Halo. This technique is quite useful because it directly points to people’s daily life. It is common for people to use smart phones mapping their destination. However, some of the locations requires to plan a route might be invisible, a technique needs to show directly where the destination is beyond the screen. Wedge visualization consists of three line segments, just like a isosceles triangle. By watching the base and two angles, users can assume the direction and distance. Wedge is distinguished from its predecessors is its three degrees of freedom including change of rotation, aperture and intrusion of a wedge. And to avoid overlap with another wedge, maximize the location accuracy communicated by the wedge and serve as an additional cue or proxy for distance is Wedge’s three goals. The wedge layout algorithm is designed to strike a balance between multiple factors. This paper has a good point because it uses figures including different aspects to compare Wedge and Halo, and we can clear recognize that Wedge has better performance and it is a quite good improvement. ‘Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays ’ discusses the UbiFit, a mobile persuasive technology that authors have developed to encourage individuals to self-monitor their physical activity and incorporate regular and varied activity into everyday life and provides a three-month field experiment and it shows that participants appreciate the glanceable display and thought it is an essential component of the system. Systems can encourage self-monitoring and behavior change through the use of stylized representations of behavior and mobile phones. UbiFit is a typical example. It consists of three components including a glanceable display, an interactive application and a fitness device. To evaluate this system, a three-month field experiment that examined participants’ activities and experiences throughout the study both quantitatively and qualitatively. Choosing participants in this experiment is a good point in this paper. The portion of male and female is almost even and they have different types of jobs and amount of work-time. This difference shows that they can represent many kinds of users. So the result of this experiment is more convincing.

SenhuaChang 18:21:45 10/20/2014

Paper 1: Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations This paper presents a way to revise the view of off-screen locations. Author compare wedge with halo in a lot of ways in order to present wedge’s advantage, which is that wedge mainly focused on how to eliminates overlapping. And the experiments result are really convincing. There are still many concepts which I am not familiar, such as notion amodal perception or amodal completion, which suggests that the human visual system will complete parts of an object even when it is only partially visible. This ability we use everyday without concern, how to use it in computer, in smartphone is really interesting and promising, what in this paper has already move to the smartphone platform, but it still meant a lot at that time. And still, the experiments and user study done in paper are good enough to support the point that this technique is good to use. And the future iterations of wedge , they would augment distance cues and test visualization with higher level of clutter and other realistic tasks, Which use the iteration design way. <....................> Paper 2: Flowers or Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays In this paper, the author introduce a mobile system called UbiFit which use a stylized, abstract representation of physical activity behavior and goal attainment on a personal, mobile display to encourage individuals to self-monitor their physical activity and incorporate regular and varied acivity into everyday life. As we all know, the new iphone product really put their finger on the health care domain. However, at that time, 2008, this technique is not mature enough, this paper really support the view that health care, physical activity can be monitor by the cellphone, which is the most recently used stuff in ones’ life. In this paper, the author really did a very thorough investigation which covers 28 participants and lasts for 3 months during the winter, and the result show that the innovative glanceable display did make a contribution to the quantity of activity, especially for the holidays, which proves its success. This kind of design use the concept of feedback, which is a little like playing online game, you can see your progress which provide you energy to continue, The UbiFit can remind or stimulate you only by a glance, which is interesting.

Qihang Chen 18:32:32 10/20/2014

The paper presents the idea of utilizing the mobile phone display for improving awareness of daily life, particularly self-monitoring of physical activity. The authors build prototype called UbiFit system including garden’s glanceable display, UbiFit’s interactive application, and UbiFit’s fitness device. User study are conducted in three condition: full system, no glanceable display, and no fitness device and prove that the glanceable display is well-received and help user maintain physical activity better than in other condition. According to research of the field, the proposed idea is not novel, but the contribution of this work is from a long-time user study with three conditions to provide comprehensive data analysis. I like the way authors setting three conditions of the study: full system, no glanceable display, and no fitness device. As two important components of UbiFit are fitness device and glanceable display (the interactive application is must have component), it is reasonable to set-up two separate experiments to study each component independently. Each of these two components has its own advantages: glanceable display is to gain user awareness and fitness device is for to automatic data entering. The result is very interesting, the user awareness is better than automatic data entering in term of helping user maintain their physical activity. In addition to study design, experimental data analysis is also a good point of the paper. My main concern on the result, which is also explained in the discussion section, is the issue of using fitness device. Reading the section on fitness device, I was thinking of issues this device may cause to user. So I am very glad that authors have a part to discuss these issues. I envision that functions of fitness device may be embedded in the smartphone, but a better solution is to design the fitness device like as watch that user can easily wear. The device should have wireless connection to the phone to report data. That would be practical nowadays I think. -------------------------------------- Paper Review for “Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays” This paper presents UbiFit, a system that takes advantage of mobile displays to help people keep fit. The idea of this paper is based on the psychological findings. They find out that awareness about one’s own behavior is particularly useful if one is trying to change behaviors or habits. So they take advantage of the mobile display. However, the information on the mobile display could be private and sensitive. So the authors use an abstract way to represent it. In their work, they build the UbiGarden. The flowers in the Ubigarden will reflect the people’s exercising result. Different flowers reflect different kinds of training, and there are also butterflies reflecting the achievement of goal. With this design, the users can monitor their exercise status, while at the same time keeping their own secret. The authors designed their UbiFit in an iterative way. They added new functions according to user’s response. And they also provide an iterative application. This application provides the user ability to view and edit activities and add comments. From these comments, they can analyze the users’ idea. According to the experiment result, it proves that through this glanceable display design, the users can view their status and keep their practice. And also from the experiments, we can also see some ideas for further improvement of the experiment, such as allowing the user to choose their own setting, etc. I think this paper is a very interesting paper. The idea itself in this paper is not that difficult, but it is highly useful. And their work on the idea is really excellent. First, they took an iterative design to perfect their system. Second, they designed the interactive system for them to collect the user data. This paper is a very good example of how to really make a contribution from a simple idea.

zhong zhuang 19:47:15 10/20/2014

This paper is discussing how to utilize the screen of smart phone more efficiently. Normally when you pull your phone out of your pocket, you will see the screen saver, which is a picture of you, your family, your boy/girlfriend, your husband/wife or some scene you visited, some statistic of your phone such as power status, network strength and time/date information. This only occupy less than 10 percent of the screen, and doesn’t utilize the ubiquitous computing power of the smart phone. This paper proposed a way to utilize the screen more efficiently. Basically it uses the screen to display some behavioral information. The information is encoded into a screen saver which, in this project, is a garden, if you fulfill certain physical task, the garden will grow flowers or butterfly. Besides the screen saver, the system also includes an interactive application which allows user to input what activities they have done. The third piece of the system is a wearable device that tracks user’s activity. This whole system is a perfect prototype of today’s physical activity tracking software. In today’s phone, the three pieces are integrated into one, the phone will dynamically display the step count or mileage of today’s physical activity and the user normally don’t need to input data by themselves because the sensors in the phone will automatically track user’s step or running mileage. This kind of feature or software has a problem. They are passive on the enforcement. So for example, if the user doesn’t run too much, it won’t do anything to enforce the user. I think a potential work is to implement a strict enforcement policy, for example, if the user tell the system that he or she wants to run 30 minutes everyday, then the system will apply some enforcement policy to make sure user really fullfil his or her goal. For example, if the user doesn’t run enough time today, the phone will automatically lock itself until the user achieves his or her goal.

Wei Guo 20:58:33 10/20/2014

Reading Critique for Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations This paper introduce a method to visually indicate the off-screen locations on the map—Wedge. There are two traditional ways to display off-screen locations, which are City Lights, and Halo. Each of them has its own limitation. City lights unable to give user hints of how far away the targets are. Halos which is using overlapping circles make users hard to tell the difference of two locations sometimes. Wedge using acute isosceles triangles with two legs pointing towards the targets to convey direction and distance and avoid overlap and clutter. From the paper, we can see a clear example of Halo and Wedge. However, I cannot find a visual example for City Light. Without visual example, it is hard for us to compare them. The authors offer three ways to avoid overlap and enhance user understanding of the map: rotation, aperture and intrusion. I think these three ways are very good ideas when dealing with triangle problems. This paper also contains a user study. The valid experimental users are only 16. I don’t think this is enough for getting a precise conclusion. Reading Critique for Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays This paper examined the use of stylized, aesthetic representation of behavior on a personal mobile display with the goal of encouraging self-monitoring and behavior change. By using an experiment, the paper shows that participants were able to maintain their physical activity level over time if they have the glanceable display. The level of physical activity for participants in the condition who did not have the glanceable display dropped significantly. To me, it seems the glaceable display plays an important role. The cause of this may be obsession. The Figure 4 in this paper is a very good visualization of analysis data. It clearly displays the trend of the activity duration of participants. Compared to the participants with the Glanceable Display, the participants without the Glanceable Display has a higher standard deviation of their activity durations. With the data, it is possible to draw the conclusion that the Glaceable Display helps user to maintain a regular activity duration.

phuongpham 21:11:05 10/20/2014

Flowers or a robot army? Encouraging awareness and activity with personal, mobile displays: the paper presents a new opportunity by turning a static wallpaper on mobile phone into a meaningful information provider. This opportunity comes from a clever observation that people looking at the phone display many times a day but for using other applications and there are idle times in between. The approach opens some interesting ideas. What else would we put on the personal mobile display beside health tracking? What should we do if we have many kinds of information to put? How can we combine them? For example, in the UbiFit garden, we can manipulate the sky to reveal current temperature, or we can auto change the glancable screen at random interval to reveal other interested information, or we can choose the displayed information based on current location, and time, etc ... There are some users feedback the UbiFit Garden is cheesy, but this would be solved easily using the iterative design process. We can create many templates for many kinds of people. This approach is quite general and I think it is a key question for smaller size personal mobile displays, such as smart watch. *** Wedge: clutter-free visualization of off-screen location: this paper addresses a problem of small size display on mobile phones. The paper directly compares a specific problem with previous work in 3 different tasks. I like the notation of preceptual theories mentioned in this paper. This is a nice approach because I think the authors have chosen the tasks carefully to show their approach's strengths. The authors have tackled the problem using several different heuristics. It is quite interesting why the authors use 2 verions of wedge, i.e. straight vs curve. Moreover, it is curiously that when applying many heuristics, whether the extra computation costs would affect the final result compared to Halo (the baseline). Compared to the previous paper, this paper chooses to address a particular problem. However, I still think the problem has not been solved such as when 2 wedges overlapped as in Figure 7, how the approach compared to the Halo approach.

Nick Katsipoulakis 22:39:32 10/20/2014

Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations : In this paper a novel UI for visualizing off-screen locations on mobile devices is presented. The authors introduce Wedge, which is an alternative approach for illustrating locations on a map. Wedge differs from previous solutions because it uses triangles to point the direction and distance of locations. Similar approaches for this problem involve either dashes and arrows (City Lights) for locations, or rings (Halos). The motivation behind Wedge emanates from the shortcomings of the previous approaches, which do not give any indications for the distance of a target, lack in accuracy, and perform poorly when graphics overlap. The milestones of designing Wedge revolve around the drawing of triangles on a mobile device's monitor. Efficient algorithms for automatically adjusting rotation and aperture of targets were employed to overcome issues like occlusion, lack of distance information and screen corners. Furthermore, in order to avoid overlap between wedges, the authors propose an iterative algorithm for placing wedges on the user's view. Unfortunately, not detailed information about this algorithm is presented in this paper. In addition, a layout algorithm is described, which determines visual attributes of wedges. Special attention has been paid on wedges close to the corners of the screen, because edges of a distant object will be eventually cropped. The authors overcome this shortcoming by increasing the length of the legs on a wedge. A user study has been conducted in which test users had to perform three types of tasks in random order. Wedge has been compared with the dominant approach of related work (Halo) in terms of Visualization, Density of locations and Positions. Despite the confidence of the authors about their approach's success, experimental results do not indicate the dominance of their approach. Finally, they conclude that in some cases the Halo approach is preferred by the test users and they mention aspects that they need to examine more in the future. /------------------------------END OF FIRST CRITIQUE ---------------------------------------------------/// Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awereness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays : This paper presents an effective way of using mobile phone devices to motivate people for improving their health. The authors came up with a user friendly way for urging users to workout more often, with the use of an application for mobile devices. UbiFit consists of three parts: an application, a glanceable display, and a mobile sensing platform. The focal point of this work is the glanceable display which uses positive reinforcement to motivate users improve their lifestyle and at the same time preserve their privacy. The display illustrates a garden and in it flowers represent the amount and the type of workout the user has completed in a three week period. Also, butterflies are used to show the goals achieved by each user. Goals can be set through the application, which is also enhanced to journal activity history. Finally, the mobile sensing platform is used to gather movement and activity information of a user. Turning to the user study of UbiFit, a quantitative and qualitative research has been performed. Users have been divided into three groups: people who were provided mobile phones with the app and mobile sensors, people who were provided mobile phones with glanceable display but no sensor, and people with the full system. Through monitoring users during a three month period and analysing the results, the authors measured the impact of the glanceable display in UbiFit. Results have shown that users were motivated by it and exercised more.

Zhong Zhuang 0:11:31 10/21/2014

This paper talks about a proposal about how to handle off-screen object tasks. Even today’s screen size of smart phone is much bigger than before, the newest Iphone 6 plus has a gigantic 6 inches screen, the screen size is still too small for some apps, especially processing graphical documents, objects of interest are often located off-screen. Spatial cognition tasks are much easier when all relevant locations are visible, but the screen size limit make this requirement very difficult to be realized. The paper proposed a solution called Wedge, it utilizes a theory called amodal perception or amodal completion. This theory suggests that the human visual system will complete parts of an object even when it is only partially visible, so in order to process locations that is off screen, the Wedge system needs only to make it partially visible. It uses a triangle which has to legs with same length and converge at the location, and connect the two legs with a third line so that a triangle is formed, by only displaying parts of the two identical legs and the connecting line, it gives the user not only the direction cue of the off-screen location but also distance cue. The paper also conducted a test to evaluate the performance of wedge. It compares the performance with another similar implementation called Halo. There are three tasks for the participants including locating task, avoiding task and closest task. The result is that Wedge is slightly better than Halo.

Brandon Jennings 0:13:32 10/21/2014

Clutter Free Visualization This paper is about dealing with off screen targets. The tool presented here can help the user to triangulate targets off screen. I like this approach because it is naturally intuitive. It is an example of a small detail that is so obvious; it is a wonder why it hasn’t been implemented before. This is a technique that has been used in things like video games and some tracking applications. The popular Halo still has users looking for their targets because the ring shape does not imply a direction. More so, the halo just provides information about the vicinity of the target. It is also visually coherent when there are multiple targets as it is easy to discern different triangles, as opposed to the halo. There was not much to comment on about what I didn’t like about the paper. One suggestion I have is having a relative distance metric for how far the target is from the base of the triangle. With varying sizes of the triangles and limited knowledge of the angles, it makes it easier for the user to know where the target is. Flowers or a Robot Army This paper is about making better use out of available displays. It presents the idea of using features like background displays and notifications to display other important information such as physical activity. This is an important concept in this day in age of technology. With human dependence on mobile devices increasing, especially because of social media, interactive displays that encourage physical fitness and healthy lifestyles become important. What is interesting about the idea is the incentive, for example the garden screensaver. If a user wants to populate their garden, they much accomplish tasks to do so, similar to a game. There is a movement in society towards health consciousness and technology will play a major role in that development. I appreciate the experiment design in this paper. There was a sufficient amount of participants and it ran over some time. This paper proved that this concept promotes healthy lifestyles. People with the glanceable display continued to maintain their physical activity level, where as those without the display did not. This research will aid in the push for interactive health and medial applications.

Mengsi Lou 1:05:22 10/21/2014

Reading Critique 2014/10/20 Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays ---------------This paper discusses a research to make a better utilize of mobile information. The author developed a system encourage individuals to self-monitor their physical activity through a more warm and also effective way, that is to connecting personal physical activities’ information through a phone application and display the activities and goals to user for reminder. ---------------The system consists of three parts. The first one is a glanceable display, which will show the activities user has done as flowers and also the goals as butterflies. The second part is an interactive application that will get the information of activities and show it on the screen. And the third one is a fitness device. That is connected to the phone application. The UbiFit system has been designed using an iterative design process. ---------------I think the user study part is worth reading in this paper. ---------------The experiment included three in-person sessions and 12 weeks of in situ use of three versions of UbiFit. So here in a user study we have first have a reasonable sample group with all the samples’ knowledge backup. Then in order to test system’s effectiveness we have to control the variables. Like in this paper, the first version of system is ‘Full System’, which included the glanceable display, interactive application, and fitness device. And the second version of system is ‘No Fitness Device’, which includes the glanceable display and interactive application only. And also the third version is ‘No Glanceable Display’, which works with no display. So for example, through the compares between the first and second version, we can see if the the connection to devices automatically will improve the users’ awareness. Similarly, through the compares between the first and third version, we can see if the display will improve users’ awareness. And the result shows that users with full system that is with display and also devices connection earns a high awareness of physical activities and are likely to keep on the good habits. And another variable has been controlled in the experience is whether the user is in holiday or not. This compares also provide strong proof that the UbiFit system works. ///////////////////////////////////////////////// Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations --------------------The small devices may have limitation in displaying. To overcome this limit, the author proposes a system to point user the users the objects out off screen. The author develop the Wedge that is a visualization technique that conveys direction and distance. The Wedge will wedge conveys location awareness primarily by means of its two legs pointing towards the target. Each wedge consists of three line segments: two legs of equal length and one terminating line called the base. In order to locate the off-screen object referred to by a wedge, users visually trace the legs, extrapolate them across the display edge, and estimate where they intersect. The intersection point is the location of the off-screen object. So with this principle, each wedge is given three degrees of freedom that is rotation, aperture, and intrusion while it still points to the same location.

changsheng liu 1:15:03 10/21/2014

<Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations> introduces a visualization technique Wedge that could conveys location awareness in small screen devices. Its main idea is to use two legs pointing towards the target. Wedge is similar to City Lights and Halo, especially the latter one. City Lights place dashes or arrows at the edge of the screen to indicate the direction towards an off-screen location. It cannot convey the distance. Halo and Wedge could allow users to infer the approximate distance of the target based on the theory of amodal perception. The theory suggests that human visual system will complete parts of an object even when it is only partially visible. Halo has one drawback. Targets in the same direction can cause halo to overlap. Comparing to Halo, each wedge offers two additional degrees of freedom and in combination with the layout algorithm we present in this paper, this allows the wedge to avoid each other and thus overlap and clutter. The study showed significant accuracy advantages for the Wedge over the Halo. In addition, Halo and Wedge provide equally good cues to distance information. I really like the idea and I think it’s useful. But I have to say that two much wedges on the small screen is annoying sometimes. <Flowers or a robot army?: encouraging awareness & activity with personal, mobile displays> introduces UbiFit, an awareness display system to help people maintain their physical activity level. The core idea in this paper is the notion that these always-available displays could be used to increase an individual’s awareness about various elements of daily life. It includes three components: a glanceable display, an interactive application and a fitness device. The glanceable display uses a stylized representation of physical activities to keep the individual focused on the act of self-monitoring. The interactive application includes detailed information about the individual’s physical activities. The fitness device automatically infers and transmits information about several types of activities. The evaluation part in the paper is well designed. 28 participants are recruited from the general population used one of the three versions for the UbiFit system for three months over the winter holiday season. Statistic shows that the system could prevent incline of physical activity significantly

Wenchen Wang 1:49:26 10/21/2014

<Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations> <Summary> This paper proposes a new visualization technique, Wedge to help users locate off-screen object. This technique could overcome small screen limitation of mobile phones. <Paper Review> Although Wedge visualization technique looks simple, it actually very useful. It has three functions. First is to avoid overlap with other wedges that halo visualization technique could have by rotating the wedges. In this way, wedge could reduce clutter degree of the screen and provide users clear view. The second function is to provide the location accuracy by means of its two legs pointing towards the target. The third function is to provide distance awareness by the size of the base of the wedge. The larger the wedge, the big distance will be. I think wedge is a very useful visualization technique. However, there is no wedge visualization technique right now. Is that because map has zoom in and zoom out functionality? Or just haven’t become application yet? <Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays> <Summary> This paper introduces a UbiFit system, which is a mobile persuasive technology to encourage individuals to self-monitor their physical activity and incorporate regular and varied activity into everyday life. <Paper Review> UbiFit system consists of three components: a glanceable display, an interactive application and a fitness device. The glanceable display is a stylized, aesthetic image that resides on the background screen. An example in the paper is a garden background. It has different flowers and butterflies representing different activities. This kind of display could present key information about physical activity behavior and goal-attainment status. In addition, it also present a reminder of commitment to physical activity and self-monitoring. Interactive application is to interact with users about their daily activities, such as edit or delete activites, add a comment or view a daily list. The Fitness device applies mobile sensor to check user’s daily activity. UbiFit system is very much like today’s fitness trackers, which is very much like a watch to detect user’s activities, such as fitbit and vivofit. This kind of wireless device can be connected to mobile phones by bluetooth to check the activity data via mobile interactive application. But I think UbiFit has a better idea which apply background screen to help user check their everyday activities. But it also should need hardware support. Because there is a question that how can mobile device know your activities accurately. What if you do not use your phone very often? So UbiFit system has a better interaction with users with the sacrifice of accuracy.

Yingjie Tang 3:06:39 10/21/2014

The paper “Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays” is a paper which introduces the way to improve the awareness by combining the mobile phone display and daily activities. This paper is very novel and original to me, because this idea has also occurred in my head and that’s implement a software which displays a tree which the owner walks more it grows more. But I never came to the thought that it can be published as an article. This tells me that the research opportunity exists everywhere especially the human computer interaction part. We should keep our eye on the basic life stuff and try to adopt the computational method and the ubiquitous approach to them. The author drew the idea from some existing system “Breakaway” , “Fish n Steps” and “The Healthy lifestyle coach” and build the mobile phone application that encourage self-monitoring & increase of physical activity. The UbiFit system was designed using an iterative design process and it first conduct a 3-week field trial of the full system with fewer participants and get intuitive feedback which was a main idea on the redesign steps. This is very important on system design, we are going to design a dragging-screen prototype and I think the iterative design will be a better idea for us to design a reasonable prototype. Moreover, the experimental part of the article deserves us to draw a lesson from. On the three month filed experiment, it take a lot of factors into consideration i.e. the availability of Glanceable Display, Age, Gender…And they were modeled as fixed effects. I learned from the paper that the mobile phone screens are personal but they are often not private, and we should consider this principle in our design or research.——————————— The paper “Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations” introduces a visualization technique that conveys direction and distance and avoids overlap and clutter and it is called Wedges. What impressed most is the deep analysis of the design space. The author introduces a series of approach to alleviate the maps on the small screen problem. He introduces the related works of some general technique for showing off-screen contents. Like the overview+detail views show the workspace in miniature and the focus+context techniques and finally comes to Halo which conveys location but not direction and distance. Halo is the most popular application at that time, so the addressing of Wedge compared to Halo deserves deep digging. And the paper point out the weakness of the Halo is the lack of accuracy especially when overlap occurs or the corner visualization. After pointing out this problem, the paper starts to alleviate it by introducing a triangle approach which has 3 degrees of freedom and the degree of freedom will be easily used to avoid overlap and enhance the accuracy while users try to recognize the accurate place of the target using the amodal perception. The experimental design is also clear, since the comparing target is Halo, and all the statistics can be made by directly compare the difference of the two applications. Thus, the paper used the very clear 3 diminutional factors statistics which requires two tables or graphs. Although the user study find out that the participants would prefer Halos in some cases, the author take this statistics into deep consideration that’s the first design didn’t consider the size of the triangle can give hints to the users. And the author take this as a feedback for the next iterative design which deserve us to draw a lesson from.

Andrew Menzies 3:14:27 10/21/2014

Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays by Sunny Consolvo et. al. This work presents a system called UbiFit, which is meant to encourage physical activity by tracking it and providing feedback. The study attempts to find a use for a mobile phone’s persistent background image (“glanceable display”) and shows that using the image as a reminder or progress indicator does impact behavior. One strength of this study is the fact that it isolates the persistent display from the rest of the application. The study tests the effects the app has on progress recorded both with and without the glanceable display and with or without the automatic fitness tracker in conjunction with the mobile app. This allowed the researchers to conclude that the glanceable display, in addition to the rest of the application, does indeed promote the behavior that the app is meant to encourage (exercise). This makes sense, since visual cues often cause me to remember that I want or need to do something. The effect of the glanceable display is probably heightened by the fact that the “garden” changes according to how the user does; a display that is associated with a particular app but never changes would probably be routinely overlooked and after a while would not make the user think of the app. This might be a question to explore in another study. The study seems to draw inspiration from the “toolbox” method of designing interfaces. Here, the researchers used an existing piece of hardware called a Mobile Sensing Platform to act as an exercise detector. A key point is that the researchers understood the limitations of this tool. They used the tool to aid some of the groups, but let users report their own achievements since the tool could not capture every form of exercise.

yeq1 6:10:49 10/21/2014

Yechen Qiao Review for 10/21/2014 Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations In this paper, the authors had improved Halo to support off-screen visualization. This technique uses amodal perception theory, and lets human to complete the wedge by providing the ends of the two legs. The authors believes that this technique provides more degrees of freedom and thus supports clutter free and more accurate visualization than Halo. The user study evaluated how effective the approach is by comparing Halo and Wedge, in two density modes and three different tasks. For target location, Wedge significantly outperforms Halo. In addition, the users generally prefers Wedge over Halo in target location and avoidance tasks. However, keep in mind that due to the study methodology, the slope of the learning curve remains unexplored. This papers shows that even a small change in interaction technique such as the shape of visualization may impact the performance of the system. Also, one interesting tidbit is how the authors did the experiment with Halo without having the code of Halo: they emulated Halo by modifying wedge to use a curved base. Sometimes, re-implementation may be necessary when the authors want to claim they could outperform an existing approach. All of these work, while somewhat interesting, may not be enough for authors to get publication in CHI. I think what is really interesting about the paper is not the solution itself. Instead, I think it is the design recommendations in the discussion section: the authors clearly found some interesting problems such as visualizations around the corners, and gave one example of how to resolve this problem. Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays In this paper, the authors had introduced UbiFit system. UbiFit allows self-monitoring of physical activity levels of the week and provides awareness of the performance against the weekly goals. The system consists of: glanacable display as the wallpaper on the phone, the fitness device, and the interactive application. The problem itself is to provide awareness of fitness goals without being intrusive, and shows these personal information without knowing the context. The authors have conducted a longitudinal and cross-sectional study over a period of three months to compare the performance of the glanacable display and the interaction screen. The study demonstrated the use of glancable display allows the user to maintain their weekly fitness goal during the winter holidays, whereas users without it generally could not keep exercising through the winter. The constant friendly reminder allows the users to exercise more often to compensate for the problem of exercise duration. This paper is quite interesting to me as this approach to support awareness may be used in other fields such as giving privacy feedback. In fact, one of the Pitt student had used this approach to do just that. ( I have reviewed the other paper extensively before, so I don’t want to do it again. The issues of using better feedback to display things people generally don’t want to see will become a problem in ubiquitous computing, where the location and the function of the individual devices should matters much less to the user than the system as a whole. In addition, giving feedback to potentially private and sensitive data in mobile devices is another problem people have not yet solved: why display content of my email in my smartphone when I just want to check what’s the new notification in a public place? I believe there are lots of opportunities in this area still. The paper also uses a somewhat informal style of writing, and the anecdotes are funny and can relate to the audience. This makes the paper interesting and easier to read, to both the readers in general and the reviewers. I think more authors should adopt this approach as well.

Xiaoyu Ge 6:43:05 10/21/2014

Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays This paper introduced a system UbiFit, which intended to encourage people self-monitor their physical activity. The UbiFit have three characteristics glanceable display interactive application and fitness device. As for the glanceable display, the author use appealing designs to represent different level of goals achieved by the user, and the author make it a wall paper of the cell phone as a reminder. And the interactive aspect of the application makes the users able to make and edit plans, and view progress. And it was made into a mobile sensing device to detect the user`s activity and document them. And the paper also included user study about the system, which mainly concluded that the system can help prevent weight gain over holiday but do not have significant effect. The concept of using these three characteristics for physical activity tracking is used in several physical training products such as FuelBand and FitBit wireless activity tracker. Both of them have phone applications, which can document and track the activities and set goals. And there is also a big round shape design representing the amount of activity just like the glanceable display UbiFit system presented. This interface design is able to cover several kinds of users, since people gain their motivation in different way. And I am agree with the author`s interface design direction. And I can utilize the author`s interface design method in my future work. Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Location This paper introduced an off-screen location visualization technique called wedge and introduced the user study comparing it with existing layout algorithm halo. And proved that wedge is more accurate then halo. There are mainly three advantages of wedge offers three degrees of freedom in rotation aperture and intrusion while it point to location. And wedge avoids overlap, maximize the location accuracy and provide good distance cues. The Off-Screen technology halo, have already be used in many applications it was used in games and visualize 3D on mobile device. The example of wedge technology is to visualize traffic information of the map. In my opinion the off-screen technology is very useful because the limited screen size of mobile device can hardly cover enough areas on map in order to achieve enough information to get traffic information ahead. And if the wedge technology provide higher accuracy, it can be replace the existed halo algorithm and achieve a better performance.

Jose Michael Joseph 8:01:45 10/21/2014

Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness and Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays This paper is about using personal displays to encourage users to increase their activity levels. The personal displays usually contain some kind of metaphor that the user could find motivating enough to try and break away from their routine of inactivity and get more active. The primary idea behind this paper is to show the users a visualization that is directly in connection with their anticipated activity levels. This helps the users to be always aware of their current progress by means of simple visual metaphors. These metaphors then incentivize the user to do better as each new progress brings with it its own set of new “rewards” thus promoting the user to do better. One of the biggest psychological tricks that the makers of this application have discovered is that giving positive reinforcement is often much more beneficial than giving negative reinforcement. When given negative reinforcement there will be cases where users simply ignore the application henceforth as they feel uncomfortable because of the negative feedback. The makers of this application have used that information to model their application in such a way that it only provides positive reinforcement. UbiFit is an application that uses the metaphor of a garden to encourage people to improve their levels of physical activity. The various colors of flowers in the application correspond to various types of activity and a butterfly indicates that the current goal has been met. This application was tested with a user set during the winter holidays when most people feel especially inactive over the course of three months. Since the relative trend of the winter holidays is decreasing activity the results produced by the test were scanned under that light. The average activity duration for participants without the glanceable display had decreased over time while for those with the display were able to maintain their activity levels over the winter holidays. This gives substantial proof that the application has some effect on the activity levels of its users and thus enables us to conclude that personal mobile displays and indeed bring about awareness to the users that use it.

Jose Michael Joseph 8:02:02 10/21/2014

Wedge: Clutter Free Visualization of Off Screen Locations This paper is about using a visualization technique called Wedge to represent off screen locations while minimizing overlap. Wedge is basically a triangle with its two legs shown on the display of the user’s device. By looking at the legs of the triangle the user can estimate the actual position of the off screen target. A wedge also offers two additional degrees of freedom which are rotation and aperture. The wedge is related to many other techniques that were used previously but were not as efficient as wedge or had some drawbacks that prevented it from producing the same results as wedge. Overview + detail was one technique that was used prior to wedge but they had a drawback that they imposed additional cognitive processing on users by requiring them to reorient themselves when switching between views. Focus + content was yet another technique used prior to wedge that had a drawback that they made tasks that required targeting or revisitation more difficult. All contextual models have I common that they use a symbolic or distorted representation of the distance which requires the users to possess a legend in order to map symbols to actual distance. Halo was the primary example used by this paper to show that the wedge is better. Halo used arcs to prompt the user about off screen targets. The primary drawback of Halos was that when there was a large density of halos in a region then they became very had to read due to overlap. The primary idea that drives the wedge application is the idea of “amodal completion”. This is the property by which humans will imagine the part of a particular object that is otherwise obscured from their view. This mean that even if only part of a shape is shown to a user, the user will instinctly be able to imagine the rest. Thus when two legs of a triangle are shown then the user will be able to imagine the rest. The wedge works on the principle that the bases of two or more triangles should overlap as less as possible. This ensures that the shapes are distinct and that the user can quickly imagine the obscured part. The primary goals that were considered while developing wedge are a) to avoid overlap b) to minimize location accuracy and c) to serve as an additional cue. Thus by following these the wedge would overcome the limitations of the halo method. Overall the benefits of wedge are more pronounced when off screen objects are clustered into corners where wedges allow users to triangulate the location of off screen objects more precisely.

Christopher Thomas 8:45:41 10/21/2014

2-3 Sentence Summary of Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations: The authors design a system for helping users visualize and mentally know the location of data which cannot fit on the screen. By projecting a partially complete isosceles triangle base onto the screen, the researchers showed that people were able to mentally project it to the off screen location in question. Several user studies were conducted showing the superiority of the wedge technique to others. A small criticism I had of the paper was that the evaluation of the proposed method was done using a PDA similar on a computer with a 19 inch monitor in LARGER THAN REAL SIZE. It seems to me that results could significantly differ when the users were actually holding the mobile device in their hand at a distance or even if it was the ACTUAL SIZE. It would have been nice if the experimenters could have designed some way to do this evaluation actually using a mobile device or even if they were going to use the computer to do the evaluation, they should have still done it at the actual size of the PDA, not larger than real-life size. One of the takeaway messages I learned from this paper it to take advantage of the innate human abilities that people have that are often unexplored or ignored. For instance, in this paper the authors examine the neuroscientific theory of amodal perception. Amodal perception is an ability that humans evolved, which allows people’s visual system to automatically complete objects that are partially occluded in the environment. While amodal perception is useful for locating an object that is partially covered, its utility in mobile devices is not immediately obvious. The authors were attempting to solve the problem of conveying information to users which cannot all fit on the screen of the user’s mobile device. However, using the knowledge that humans have this innate ability to complete objects, the authors realized that by projecting the base of an isosceles triangle on screen, the user’s innate amodal perception would kick in and automatically complete the isosceles triangle mentally for them. Thus, the target to be displayed is located at the tip of the artificially constructed isosceles triangle in the user’s brain, allowing the user’s to artificially finish the picture which the screen was too small to display. Solving the problem in this way is not at all obvious. What this shows us is that when thinking about how to solve a problem, we should take into account natural abilities and phenomena available in humans. It’s almost like the concept of how the modal-human processor was used to perform calculations about humans’ abilities to perform certain tasks, which could be used to adjust frame rates, etc., except in this case the system is actually designed around this ability. The second thing I learned is when making design decisions, to consider what degrees of freedom the design one has area. Then, use those degrees of freedom and evaluate them to find the best combination for the task. For instance, the authors explained how previous research projected a small partially occluded circle on the screen and allowed the user’s to visualize where the off-screen target was from that. However, the authors realized that the wedges they produced offered 3-degrees of freedom (rotation, aperture, and intrusion). The authors then realized that each of the degrees of freedom could be used to solve a separate problem (avoiding overlap, maximizing accuracy, etc.). A lesson available here is that when thinking about a proposed approach, one should take into account the degrees of freedom that the approach affords and how those degrees of freedom can be used to achieve different goals. For instance, if one was to simply fix the rotation to be 90 degrees, the authors showed how things could quickly overlap and reduce accuracy. However, by giving the wedge the ability to rotate at an angle, the authors could overcome the overlap problem and improve the accuracy of the system. Thus, the takeaway message is to think about what degrees of freedom each approach has and to also think about any possible degrees of freedom that we have constrained of fixed during design without realizing it and think about how extending those degrees of freedom could be used to solve a particular problem.   2-3 Sentence Summary of Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays – The authors explain UbiFit, a persuasive technology which encourages users to self-monitor physical activity and to incorporate increased physical activity into their daily lives, taking advantage of previously ignored aspects of mobile displays. The UniFit system was iteratively designed and took into account survey results from respondents to a survey and does not provide any negative reinforcement (punishment). Finally, a longitudinal field experiment was conducted demonstrating the effectiveness of UbiFit. One thing that was interesting to me in this paper is the choice of the author’s no provide only positive reinforcement for the users to encourage them to exercise. An example of negative reinforcement would be to show dead flowers, weeds, snakes, etc. on the garden display to encourage users to exercise to remove them. Instead, UbiFit took lessons from prior research which should that the negative reinforcement was not as effective as the positive reinforcement in getting users to exercise, something which I found somewhat counter-intuitive. I would have initially speculated that negative reinforcement would have been more effective. It seems obvious that somehow punishing the users would encourage them to exercise more. However, on closer inspection, it is obvious that users faced with negative reinforcement would either lie to the system to get the positive picture back or simply uninstall it. The research showed that users were willing to work for the positive reinforcement rather than lie to the system to get it. Yet again, we see the importance of taking human behavior into account when we design our products. What may initially seem like the better solution may actually turn out to be a worse solution when actual human behaviors are taken into account. One criticism I had of the study was that the experiment was successful in showing that the glanceable display from UbiFit was able to sustain activity duration over the winter season. What wasn’t immediately obvious to me was why this was innovative. In my mind, it would have been more interesting to also compare the glanceable display of UbiFit with a similar competitor system to show how they compared. In other words, while the glanceable display decision could be shown to have a positive effect, why was that? Was it due to the fact simply that there was a glanceable display or was it the glanceable display plus some other design decision of UbiFit (such as positive reinforcement) that contributed to this effect. Thus, I think it would have been useful to also test the effectiveness of UbiFit vs. other solutions. Even if that wasn’t accomplished, I think that UbiFit could still have had some condition variables to test the other design decisions (positive vs. negative reinforcement) other than just testing effectiveness, because all the authors can say from that part of the experiment was that glanceable displays are effective, but to say it is UbiFit is an overgeneralization. Then I realized, in this case that the authors were seeking to demonstrate a generic result – to demonstrate the effectiveness of these types of reminders. Thus, a lesson here is that sometimes studies aren’t just trying to show a particular application is better, but trying to show something deeper, such as that glaceable displays serve as effective reminders, a broad point which can be used in other papers. Other papers can then tease out those details in other studies. One final lesson learned was the concept of a longitudinal study, whereby users use the system for an extended period of time. This is obviously critical for systems such as this, which need to change behavior patterns over time. For instance, we saw from the results that initially results were higher in both test groups. Only over time did the one group decline and the other maintain its average activity level. Thus, to prove larger points, not just application specific points, a larger, more formalized user study often needs conducted. In showing the effectiveness of an application, on the other hand, a small user study may suffice. However, if one wants to prove a larger point about human activity, such as the effectiveness of glanceable displays to modify behavior, a more formalized, longer term user study is more appropriate. I feel that the user study was one of the key contributions of the paper.

Qiao Zhang 9:01:29 10/21/2014

Flowers or a Robot Army? Encouraging Awareness & Activity with Personal, Mobile Displays The main contribution of this paper is that their UbiFit suite provides (1) stylized representations of behavior in non-mobile settings to encourage individuals to change their behavior and (2) mobile phone applications that encourage self-monitoring and increase of physical activity, proved by their user study during the holiday season. I am curious about the following issues: (1) Will introducing social aspects potentially motivates the users continue doing a good job? (2) How accurate the software categorizes user activities? (3) The design of the various flowers are meant to encourage users to do different activities, however the color code is not visible to users. I am very surprised to find this paper to be very similar as today's personal health related wearable gadgets such as FitBit, Jawbone etc. They are so similar in the way that uses a gadget to get users' motion data and provides feedback on the smart phone. I then took a look at FitBit's webpage and found that FitBit was founded in 2007, a year earlier than this paper. This paper also reminds me of Adam Lee's research of privacy: they display images of eyes on screensaver to inform the users how frequently their location information is being monitored by others. I think they make good examples of leveraging background information to peacefully remind users important issues. Another impressive thing about this paper is that they put heavy emphasis on the analysis of user study. User comments are provided, results are well discussed and they even point out confounders in their user study. Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations In this paper, the authors introduce a new off-screen visualization technique, Wedge, which reduces the amount of overlap on the display. Wedge uses isosceles triangles near the edges and corners to indicate off-screen locations. It also utilizes a de-clutter algorithm to avoid visual clutterness. It is a follow-up study of another visualization system Halo. The authors spend a good amount of effort to compare the two. They used ANOVA to analyze the results, in which proved that Wedge is significantly more precise than Halo in accuracy. However some of the tasks show that there is statistically insignificant difference between Wedge and Halo; some show that users perform better using Halo than Wedge. One good thing about this paper is that, rather than qualitative user study, they designed 3 well-thought quantitative user study and uses statistical methods to analyze the result, which is a lot more persuasive than qualitative survey-style user studies. I am very impressed with their method. It corresponds to users' mental model and has very small gulf of evaluation. I would love to have it on my google map, especially when during navigation. A lot of visualization terminologies such as overview+detail and overview+context are used in this paper, especially in the related work section. It can be considered as a joint work within the intersection of visualization and human-computer interaction. Visualization methods and principles such as avoiding clutter apply to HCI research work, too.

Vivek Punjabi 9:21:54 10/21/2014

Wedge: Clutter-Free Visualization of Off-Screen Locations: The paper introduces to a new technique, wedge, for visualizing off-screen locations. It discusses the existing techniques of CityLights anf Halos and their drawbacks and then focuses on how wedges are helpful to overcome these drawbacks. The author also provides the perceptual theory behind this technique. The author uses the degrees of freedom of a wedge for three goals: to avoid overlap, to maximize location accuracy and serve as an additional cue. The algorithm stated explains the various aspects covered by the technique. The user study gives the result that the technique of wedges was useful and accurate compared to its counterparts. However, as mentioned, there wasn't as significant difference in the accuracy as intended. So, the user study should have included more tasks and more participants so as to clearly distinguish the results. Flowers or a robot army?: encouraging awareness & activity with personal, mobile displays: This paper explains the usefulness of personal, mobile displays as awareness systems so as to improve our day-to-day experience. There have been a significant increase in the number of mobile screens and dynamic displays which can be used to enhance most part of our lives. The author has developed a system called UbiFit which allows individuals to self-monitor their physical activity and incorporate the activities in their everyday life. The author discusses the need of this application and then explain its components such as the glanceable display, the interactive application and the fitness device. The author has performed a thorough experiment over three months of the device's usage and produced the results in a various perspectives. They have also provided some unplanned results that occurred as a co-incidence and given its analysis. In conclusion, it talks about the arguments about the use of stylized, abstract representations of information on personal devices and the system, UbiFit that they built to depict the same. It provides a good motivation in the field of abstraction and representing everyday life into our devices. Also, the presentation of the results were impressive and helpful.