A framework for research and design of gesture-based human-computer interactions
Gestures have long been considered an interaction technique that can potentially deliver more natural, creative and intuitive methods for communicating with our computers. For over 40 years, gestures provided an alternative input mode to the keyboard and mouse interactions for most application domains, employing an array of technologies to control multitude of tasks. But how do we make sense of the expanse of this technique so that we may approach gestures from a theoretical perspective, and understand its role in human computer interactions? Existing research tends to focus on the technology, exploring novel methods for enabling gestures, and the tasks they can afford. However few researchers have approached the discipline with the intent of building a cohesive understanding of gestures and the relationships that exist between the different systems and interactions. In this work, we present a theoretical framework to support a systematic approach to researching and designing gesture-based interactions. We propose four categories —physical gestures, input devices, output technologies, and user goals —as the basis from which the framework extends. Each category is defined in terms of manipulatable parameters, and their affect on the user experience. Parameters can be tested using empirical experiments, and amended using qualitative methods. The framework is intended for use as a tool to guide research and design, and presents a structure for providing a theoretical understanding of gesture interactions. Our research began with a review and analysis of the gesture literature, preceded by a series of studies and experiments, which lead to the development of the theoretical framework. This thesis presents a detailed discussion of the qualitative and quantitative research that led to the development of framework, its structure and components, and examples of its application towards a theoretical approach to research an design of gestures for human computer interactions.