Virginia Tech®home

Congratulations to Anamary Leal on Successful PhD Defense

Anamary Leal

Designers and non-designers alike often describe fabric in ways that are markedly different or unclear. For example, two designers may attribute qualities such as heavy or thick to a material, but actually mean completely different things despite using the same words.We highlight user interface designs and implementations that use the ambiguity of language without eliminating it. We studied how people described distinct fabrics, from exp erts,novices, to everyday people and the crowdsourcing community on how they interpret fabrics.We applied that information to designs that communicated materiality and ambiguity in various ways, and studied how interfaces affected a user's pro cess of exploring materials and negotiating the meaning of materiality. The most important findings are user interface guidelines that apply to any interface where ambiguity of description is a key resource, such as design."