With the rapid development of creativity support tools, creative practitioners (e.g., designers, artists, architects) have to constantly explore and adopt new tools into their practice. While HCI research has focused on developing novel creativity support tools, little is known about creative practitioner's values when exploring and adopting these tools. We collect and analyze 23 videos, 13 interviews, and 105 survey responses of creative practitioners reflecting on their values to derive a value framework. We find that practitioners value the tools' functionality, integration into their current workflow, performance, user interface and experience, learning support, costs and emotional connection, in that order. They largely discover tools through personal recommendations. To help unify and encourage reflection from the wider community of CST stakeholders (e.g., systems creators, researchers, marketers, educators), we situate the framework within existing research on systems, creativity support tools and technology adoption.
Creating digital comics involves multiple stages, some creative and some menial. For example, coloring a comic requires a labor-intensive stage known as 'flatting,' or masking segments of continuous color, as well as creative shading, lighting, and stylization stages. The use of AI can automate the colorization process, but early efforts have revealed limitations---technical and UX---to full automation. Via a formative study of professionals, we identify flatting as a bottleneck and key target of opportunity for human-guided AI-driven automation. Based on this insight, we built FlatMagic, an interactive, AI-driven flat colorization support tool for Photoshop. Our user studies found that using FlatMagic significantly reduced professionals' real and perceived effort versus their current practice. While participants effectively used FlatMagic, we also identified potential constraints in interactions with AI and partially automated workflows. We reflect on implications for comic-focused tools and the benefits and pitfalls of intermediate representations and partial automation in designing human-AI collaboration tools for professionals.
Despite an abundance of carefully-crafted tutorials, trial-and-error remains many people’s preferred way to learn complex software. Yet, approaches to facilitate trial-and-error (such as tooltips) have evolved very little since the 1980s. While existing mechanisms work well for simple software, they scale poorly to large feature-rich applications. In this paper, we explore new techniques to support trial-and-error in complex applications. We identify key benefits and challenges of trial-and-error, and introduce a framework with a conceptual model and design space. Using this framework, we developed three techniques: ToolTrack to keep track of trial-and-error progress; ToolTrip to go beyond trial-and-error of single commands by highlighting related commands that are frequently used together; and ToolTaste to quickly and safely try commands. We demonstrate how these techniques facilitate trial-and-error, as illustrated through a proof-of-concept implementation in the CAD software Fusion 360. We conclude by discussing possible scenarios and outline directions for future research on trial-and-error.
Prior work has demonstrated augmented reality's benefits to education, but current tools are difficult to integrate with traditional instructional methods. We present Paper Trail, an immersive authoring system designed to explore how to enable instructors to create AR educational experiences, leaving paper at the core of the interaction and enhancing it with various forms of digital media, animations for dynamic illustrations, and clipping masks to guide learning. To inform the system design, we developed five scenarios exploring the benefits that hand-held and head-worn AR can bring to STEM instruction and developed a design space of AR interactions enhancing paper based on these scenarios and prior work. Using the example of an AR physics handout, we assessed the system's potential with PhD-level instructors and its usability with XR design experts. In an elicitation study with high-school teachers, we study how Paper Trail could be used and extended to enable flexible use cases across various domains. We discuss benefits of immersive paper for supporting diverse student needs and challenges for making effective use of AR for learning.
Guided by the 12 principles of animation, stylization is a core 2D animation feature but has been utilized mainly by experienced animators. Although there are tools for stylizing 2D animations, creating stylized 3D animations remains a challenging problem due to the additional spatial dimension and the need for responsive actions like contact and collision. We propose a system that helps users create stylized casual 3D animations. A layered authoring interface is employed to balance between ease of use and expressiveness. Our surface level UI is a timeline sequencer that lets users add preset stylization effects such as squash and stretch and follow through to plain motions. Users can adjust spatial and temporal parameters to fine-tune these stylizations. These edits are propagated to our node-graph-based second level UI, in which the users can create custom stylizations after they are comfortable with the surface level UI. Our system also enables the stylization of interactions among multiple objects like force, energy, and collision. A pilot user study has shown that our fluid layered UI design allows for both ease of use and expressiveness better than existing tools.