Parametric User Interface Design

David Bihanic (dir.), 2018

Parametric User Interface Design (PUID) — “Reshaped” (demonstrator)

Responsive, adaptive and parametric[1], user interfaces are now based on cognitive technologies that make them both accessible (addressing different disabilities), customizable and ‘context sensitive’. Although these advances, which concern the plasticity (structural, informational) of interfaces, are undeniable, we should notice that they still do not involve enough graphic and visual identity (Look&Feel). We tried to address this very last point with PIUD.

Based on practice, this research aimed at designing an “open” parametric system for the graphical reform-improvement-development of the user interface. We aimed at 4 principal goals: 1. enabling the extent of the stylistic design-creation framework of an interface to multiple user profiles, 2. giving a greater role to the end-user through a participative and inclusive approach to ‘co-design’, 3. assessing the impact on the UI identity (e.g. emphasis on sensitivity, aesthetics, perceptiveness), 4. judging the power/influence of a community of “reformist” users on the development of a product’s graphic universe (content, object, service, etc.): from the creative prescription of a community to the choice of forms, choice of certain style orientations (visual design trends).

As a practical case study, we designed and produced a semi-functional prototype of a parametric editorial interface called “Reshaped”. It allows, in real time, a remote cooperation between several user profiles, to improve and reform the graphic and stylistic look of various editorial contents.

[1] Parametric User Interface (PUI): interface offering the user various possibilities for transformation/modification/variation and reorganization of a functional, structural (ergonomic) and/or graphic (stylistic, identity) nature.

Studies (taxonomy, graphical and functional specifications), conception and interface design: David Bihanic (project director)
Analysis of the existing parametric UI systems – the state of art, conception: Julie Blanc
Software development (demonstrator): Cécile Bucher
User review (usability): Florent Levillain

The PUID research project was developed in the framework of the Reflective Interaction Research Group of EnsadLab, the research laboratory of École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs with the support of the Carnot Institute “Cognition”.