Keeping up appearances: Interpretation of tangible artifact design

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 5th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 2008, pp. 162 - 171
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The design and interaction of physical game artefacts is becoming increasingly important for the design of digital tabletop games. In this paper a study is described investigating the differences in interpretations of realistic and abstract game artifacts comparing children and adults. A game was created on a digital tabletop as a carrier for the user evaluation presented in this paper. The appearance of the game artifacts was explored and a family of each of the artifacts was created. The interpretations of each of the individual artifacts and their different visual appearances were tested to determine whether children rank and interpret the functionalities of the artefacts differently than adults. The results showed that overall the understanding of abstract artifacts compared to realistic ones was best for both children and adults. It also indicated there was no significant difference in the interpretations of the realistic and abstract artefacts between children and adults.
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