Rounding out today’s news is another Graphics Interface 2014 publication that I have forthcoming. This publication, “The Pen Is Mightier: Understanding Stylus Behaviour While Inking on Tablets” reports on a user study that was conducted at Microsoft Research during my extended internship. The study investigated the differences in hand posture, hand movements, writing size, and user preferences while participants were performing note-taking and sketching tasks using traditional pen and paper, a digital tablet with a passive stylus, and a digital tablet. Dr. Anoop Gutpa served as my Microsoft mentor during the project and Fraser and Walter assisted me with the analysis and discussion sections of the work. Once the full paper is available, I will provide a link to it.
Although pens and paper are pervasive in the analog world, their digital counterparts, styli and tablets, have yet to achieve the same adoption and frequency of use. To date, little research has identified why inking experiences differ so greatly between analog and digital media or quantified the varied experiences that exist with stylus-enabled tablets. By observing quantitative and behavioural data in addition to querying preferential opinions, the experimentation reaffirmed the significance of accuracy, latency, and unintended touch, whilst uncovering the importance of friction, aesthetics, and stroke beautification to users. The observed participant behaviour and recommended tangible goals should enhance the development and evaluation of future systems.