Tuesday, February 2, 2010

OCGM: Universal Foundational Metaphors of Natural User Interfaces

Update 6/6/2011: Download link fixed again.

After all the discussions of Objects, Containers, Gestures, and Manipulations this past month, Ron George and I decided to write a scholarly paper on the subject. We had discussed OCGM on our blogs and had some great discussion with others, but we wanted to show the academic justification for the ideas. First, we had to find a place to publish.

Conveniently, Steven Seow from the Microsoft Surface team was organizing a NUI workshop for April 10, 2010 at the CHI'10 conference. They were seeking position papers and the deadline was January 15th. I spent some very late nights that week researching, collaborating with Ron, and writing, editing, and rewriting. We agreed that Ron would be first author since the ideas originated with him from his work, and I would be in the last position as main author since I did the research for the conceptual justification of OCGM and wrote the paper itself. In the end, the paper ended up laying out some very interesting ideas about OCGM. We submitted the resulting paper, and just heard on January 31st that it was accepted to the workshop!

I've very excited about this, not only because of the opportunity to speak at another major conference, but also it means that the OCGM concept is published in a major peer-reviewed academic publication, which gives it a lot of credibility.

You can download the paper below. It is only five pages and is a quick read. I would humbly recommend it to anyone interested in Natural User Interfaces or OCGM. Let me know what you think!

Objects, Containers, Gestures, and Manipulations: 
Universal Foundational Metaphors of Natural User Interfaces

Ron George, Joshua Blake

In this paper, we propose Objects, Containers, Gestures, and Manipulations (OCGM, pronounced like Occam’s Razor) as universal foundational metaphors of Natural User Interfaces. We compare OCGM to existing paradigms using SRK behavior classification and early childhood cognitive development, and justify the “universal” and “foundational” descriptors based upon cognitive linguistics and universal grammar. If adopted, OCGM would significantly improve the conceptual understanding of NUIs by developers and designers and ultimately result in better NUI applications.

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