Thursday, February 23, 2012

Response to Ripples


This paper presented Ripples, a Framework to solve some common usability problems with multi-touch devices. Ripples tries to provide a standard design to provide feedback to user interactions. Further, the paper presented more information about this problem & proposed solution and did some experimentation to show that user’s of the multi-touch devices prefer using it with the Ripples effects.

Pros & Cons

A pro for this type of standardized framework is that user’s will have a familiar set of interaction feedback that they can be accustomed to. A con could be that developer’s might be limited to this standard set of feedback. Also, when a developer tries to make a new innovative idea, the typical user that is familiar with Ripples would suffer some confusion.


The human experiment they performed showed that people preferred using Ripples versus not using it. This showed that the system is more pleasurable to use for the participants. The discussion about the experiment didn’t go into to much detail about the non-Ripples system that they were comparing it to. Some developers may be able to implement a feedback system that is more pleasurable to use than Ripples. However, having at least the default Ripples was proved to be better than than feedback or the “other” feedback system that they were comparing it to..

Further Development

There was no mention of any sounds for feedback. A set of sounds that are triggered with different interactions would be appropriate for this feedback. MS Windows, Apple Computer & some Smart Phones/Tablets have a standard set of sounds for interactions with the device. It seems like it would be a good idea to standardize a set of sounds for multi-touch interactions.

  • Design Principles for Multi-touch systems
  • Custom system feedback may be better in some cases than using Ripples
  • Sound effect feedback

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