A major goal of this project is to develop a better understanding of the relationships between the design features of tangibles, the gestures used when thinking about creative tasks, and creativity. The project explores correlations between basic categories of gesture, perception, and cognition as a basis for the development of sustainable principles that may inform and guide the development of new technology beyond the current implementation of TUIs. The following subgoals are expected contributions while pursuing the major goal.
1. Methodology: The project develops and codifies a methodology for studying children’s activities while they use TUIs that has two parts: observation and design. This methodology will be adapted and extended during this project to provide a new approach for research on designing technology for children that includes protocol analysis and codesign.
2. Coding scheme: The project develops one or more coding schemes for observation data based on the synthesis of literature on tangible computing, gesture and thought, and creativity. This coding scheme will be adapted and extended during this project and become a valuable tool for further studies on the effect of TUIs on cognition. This coding scheme is independent of whether the participants are children or adults.
3. Hypotheses: This research, while grounded in theory to develop the coding scheme, is one of hypothesis generation rather than hypothesis testing. A significant contribution will be the identification of hypotheses based on the results of our protocol analysis that link the affordances of TUIs with creativity as the starting point for more detailed cognitive studies of tangibles in comparison to other human computer interfaces such as keyboard and
4. Design principles: The project combines observations and children’s design suggestions to develop design principles for tangible devices. These principles include statements about existing affordances and new affordances, as well as the relationships among affordances and problem solving tasks.