Schneider, O. and MacLean, K. E., “Studying Design Process and Example Use with Macaron, a Web-based Vibrotactile Effect Editor,” in Proc. of HAPTICS Symposium, Philadelphia, PA, 2016.
Examples are a critical part of any design process, but supporting their use for a haptic medium is nontrivial. Current libraries for vibrotactile (VT) effects provide neither insight into examples’ construction nor capability for deconstruction and re-composition. To investigate the special requirements of example use for VT design, we studied designers as they used a web-based effect editor, Macaron, which we created as both an evaluation platform and a practical tool. We qualitatively characterized participants’ design processes and observed two basic example uses: as a starting point or template for a design task, and as a learning method. We discuss how features supporting internal visibility and composition influenced these example uses, and articulate several implications for VT editing tools and libraries of VT examples. We conclude with future work, including plans to deploy Macaron online to examine examples and other aspects of VT design in situ.