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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 [1] 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.

Research Background

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.

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- 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. 


Feedforward Design

Intro Video


User Test

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Structed User Test

Participants 25 (F10), Age 20-29

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During the trial, participants were provided the same context to use the prototype: adjusting music volume while driving.

& Analysis

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

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UEQ Questionnaire Scale Mean Graphic

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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.

[1] 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:

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Demo Day

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.

Publication & Event


Dutch Design Week 2019

Design United Tilt Shift

Speakers Corner


11th ACM Automotive User Interface 2019

Interactive Demo - Publication 

Best Demonstration Award