20 December 2004

£239,676 EPSRC grant for CTMG group

Dr. Jon May and Tim Gamble have been awarded a grant to fund a three year project 'Designing dynamic displays with Supportive Evaluation Techniques' that aims to make computer interfaces more usable. Computer interfaces include windows that appear, move, change, and disappear, often in an unpredictable manner, confusing users, and reducing usability. In contrast, film makers cut between camera position during a scene without confusing their viewers. In a previous project the CTMG evaluated a theoretical analysis of the film makers' craft, identifying the psychological principles behind the use of particular forms of film cutting. An eye-tracking study showed that on some cuts, editing minimised the need for eye movements, while on others, it increased it. Many current interfaces do the opposite to these film editing techniques. In this project the CTMG will show whether or not applying these principles to existing interfaces improves usability. The project will create a Supportive Evaluation Technique that designers can use alongside existing design methods, to help them decide when and how to apply these principles when designing dynamic displays.