When the mouse moves your hand...
Does physical guidance help learning? Experimental results...
Do you like to be touched? The acceptance issue...
Traditional multimodal interfaces exploit two of the five human senses: sight and hearing.
What about touch?
Haptic interfaces, thanks to force-feedback devices, make use of the sens of touch to convey physical information to the user.
Force-feedback devices, as the name indicates, react to user actions. Conversely, haptic assistance consists in acting upon the user hand (though the device) in order to guide him/her towards different locations on the screen. Our hypothesis was that such haptic guidance could help learning how to use software.
In fact, far before the computer era, experiments have shown that physically guiding the hand of a learner could improve learning efficiency, provided that guidance is not too strong. However, the learning tasks were rather motor than cognitive.
An experiment was carried out at CITI, in order to compare textual guidance, visual guidance and haptico-visual guidance. Haptico-visual guidance revealed better than visual guidance, but similar to text guidance...
Beyond the measure of performance, acceptance of haptic assistance is challenging (haptic sense is both related to pain and pleasure...). A user-centered approach, based on focus groups, enabled us to design a metaphor for haptic guidance which maximizes acceptance of this new mode of interaction.