Swindells, C., MacLean, K. E., Booth, K. S., Meitner, M. (2007). "Exploring Affective Design for Physical Controls." in Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), CHI Letters, vol. 9, no. 1, ACM Press.
Physical controls such as knobs, sliders, and buttons are experiencing a revival as many computing systems progress from personal computing architectures towards ubiquitous computing architectures. We demonstrate a process for measuring and comparing visceral emotional responses of a physical control to performance results of a target acquisition task. In our user study, participants experienced mechanical and rendered friction, inertia, and detent dynamics as they turned a haptic knob towards graphical targets of two different widths and amplitudes. Together, this process and user study provide novel affect- and performance-based design guidance to developers of physical controls for emerging ubiquitous computing environments. Our work bridges extensive human factors work in mechanical systems that peaked in the 1960's, to contemporary trends, with a goal of integrating mechatronic controls into emerging ubiquitous computing systems.