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Title: Drawing from calculators
Author: Thimbleby, Will
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2010
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Two novel interactive systems, a new calculator and a new drawing program, are developed. The novel user interfaces derive from the application and development of design principles during the software development. It is the principles, their relationship to the development process, and their potential future role in interactive system development, that form the main contributions of the thesis. Each system was created using an iterative, principle-driven method, in which the principles and implementation built on each other. The principledriven design process led to original user interfaces and to refined principles. The design, development and underlying principles of each system form two complementary parts of the thesis: • The calculator is designed to work as though it is 'paper with answers'. The user can write any mathematical expression by hand, and the calculator recognises the written expression, then morphs the user's input to a neat typeset expression, corrects any syntax errors, and then provides an answer. The neat typeset expression can then be edited freely by direct manipulation or by adding further writing. • The vector graphics drawing program design follows a similar principledriven approach. It applies the principles developed with the calculator, but to a very different style of user interface. Both systems provide substantial examples of user interface design and development. Their design and development resulted in four key user interface principles: projection, continuity, what you see is what you edit, and declarative interaction. These four flow principles are, it is argued, the main reasons the user interfaces are effective. User studies, qualitative feedback, heuristic, and analytic evidence is provided for the user interfaces. Both systems have been well received by users and are commercially distributed. The design principles may support future user interface design and development. They provide further research opportunities, particularly in exploring exactly where they are applicable, and how and when they can be applied to future designs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available