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Different Inherent Feedforwards
for Disappearing Interaction
in Textile Interface
Design Research Project 2019 | 5 months
Industrial Design, University of Technology Eindhoven, NL
Skills: tangible user interface, interaction design, design research, prototyping, user evaluation, interview
Project Coach: Miguel Bruns
Publication: ACM SIGCHI AutoUI
Exhibition: AutoUI 2019, DDW Design United 2019
This project presents the study investigating different inherent feedforwards  for disappearing interaction scenario in textile surfaces and how users perceive and interact with them. To do so, a textile-based prototype was designed and user tests were conducted. Based on the results, this paper discusses the intuitiveness and user experiences of different feedforward and provides insights into future works in terms of feedforward.
Currently, interactive devices disappear into a wide range of physical context due to the development of microcontrollers, sensors and actuators. This disappearing interfaces may cause confusion regarding where and how to interact with them. Therefore, inherent feedforward is significant regarding providing interaction information between human and computers.
As visual information is more widely used in traditional screen-based interaction, the shape-changing modality also has the ability to communicate possibilities of action.
Research through Design Process
- A Membrane Potentiometer was used as the input for adjusting the volume.
- NeoPixel LED ring is integrated under the Potentiometer to create visual feedforward modalities.
- For the shape-changing feedforward modality, two Micro Servos are installed at the bottom of the prototype, using fishing line to pull
the circular moveable part down to generate the shape-changing movement.
- 3D Model was built by Rhino to help laser-cutting the frame of the prototype.
- An Arduino Uno is used for the communication between Arduino and interface, which was created by Processing.
- The surface of the prototype is covered by stretchable artificial wool felt.
- The intended action based on the feedforwards is touching with the finger and rotating motion.
- The designed function is adjusting the volume.
a. Non-feedforward: the prototype does not give feedforward before the interaction. This will be used as the control group.
b. Static-pattern feedforward: the prototype demonstrates a static light circular pattern through the LED ring.
c. Dynamic-pattern feedforward: the prototype provides constant counterclockwise light animation through the LED ring.
d. Shape-changing feedforward: the prototype sinks downwards and forms a ring shape before the interaction.
Structed User Test
Participants 25 (F10), Age 20-29
During the trial, participants were provided the same context to use the prototype: adjusting music volume while driving.
The affordance of the feedforwards was indicated by the task completion scale ;
The user experience was collected with the Likert Scale UEQ questionnaire and semi-structured interview.
non-feedforward static-pattern dynamic pattern shape-changing
Task Completion Scale for Each Feedforward
UEQ Questionnaire Scale Mean Graphic
UEQ Questionnaire Scale Mean Graphic
- Task completion scale evidently increased due to the use of inherent feedforwards
- The dynamic pattern is the most intuitive feedforward
However only using inherent feedforward seems not enough
- Shape-changing feedforward has the potential to improve user experience
- Comparing to the static pattern, dynamic one is more interesting to use
- While non-feedforward is, with no doubt, not attractive to the users
Conclusion & Discussion
I presented the research project that accesses the effect of four different feedforwards and their affordance and user experience in terms of human-computer interaction. Based on the findings, I suggested that inherent feedforward can coordinate the human-computer interaction to some extent. Dynamic light feedforward could provide more intuitiveness regarding the action possibilities of the interface. Shape-changing seems to be an eligible modality to provide a better user experience that could make the interaction more easy and enjoyable. The findings provide insight into how to design more intuitive and enjoyable interfaces.
 S. A. G. Wensveen, J. P. Djajadiningrat, and C. J. Overbeeke. 2004. Interaction frogger: A design framework to couple action and function through feedback and feedforward. 2004 (2004). DOI:
The prototype was integrated with a vehicle seat for the final demonstration. In the context of the vehicle, the functionality of the prototype is fully interactive, and the users can get instant feedback from the adjusting volume of the music. The feedforwards for the demonstration were re-designed according to the user test findings.