paintable interfaces

patrick baudisch
     paintable interf.
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screenshot of a paintable interface allowing users to enter preferences with respect to computer monitors Monitor purchase dialog: By painting the corresponding buttons yellow, the user has entered a preference for 19" monitors with 1280x1024 resolution or similar. The user also rated certain deviations as acceptable (less bright buttons). 

Paintable interfaces allow users to manipulate large numbers of objects, such as toggle switches or click-though menus, in an efficient way. The basic idea is to consider each object a pixel and the user's mouse cursor a paintbrush or airbrush. One application area of paintable interfaces is user profile editing, where users rate large numbers of product choices. 

try it out: Here are seven interactive demos that run in any web browser with a Java plug-in

see how Adobe Photoshop CS2 adopted paintable interfaces. Its layers palette allows users to show or hide multiple layers at once using a single mouse interaction
 screen capture video (GIF 22kb)


publications about paintable interfaces

Baudisch, P.
Don't Click, Paint! Using Toggle Maps to Manipulate Sets of Toggle Switches.
In Proceedings of UIST 98 (Technote), San Francisco, pp. 65-66.
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Baudisch, P.
Using a Painting Metaphor to Rate Large Numbers of Objects
In Proceedings of HCI International, Munich, Germany, 22-27 August 1999.Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ, USA.
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additional detail can be found in pages 98-113 of

Baudisch, P.
Dynamic Information Filtering. Ph.D. Thesis.
GMD Research Series 2001, No. 16. GMD Forschungszentrum Informationstechnik GmbH, Sankt Augustin. ISSN 1435-2699, ISBN 3-88457-399-3.
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