The Potential of a Text-Based Interface as a Design Medium: An Experiment in a Computer Animation Environment

Sangwon Lee, Jin Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Since the birth of the concept of direct manipulation, the graphical user interface has been the dominant means of controlling digital objects. In this research, we hypothesize that the benefits of a text-based interface involve multiple tradeoffs, and we explore the potential of text as a medium of design from three perspectives: (i) the perceived level of control of the designed object, (ii) a tool for realizing creative ideas and (iii) an effective form for a highly learnable user interface. Our experiment in a computer animation environment shows that (i) participants did feel a high level of control of characters, (ii) creativity was both restricted and facilitated depending on the task and (iii) natural language expedited the learning of a new interface language. Our research provides experimental proof of the effect of a text-based interface and offers guidelines for the design of future computer-aided design applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-101
Number of pages17
JournalInteracting with Computers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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