User-based gesture vocabulary for form creation during a product design process

  • Tijana Vuletic

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


There are inconsistencies between the nature of the conceptual design and the functionalities of the computational systems supporting it, which disrupt the designers’ process, focusing on technology rather than designers’ needs. A need for elicitation of hand gestures appropriate for the requirements of the conceptual design, rather than those arbitrarily chosen or focusing on ease of implementation was identified.The aim of this thesis is to identify natural and intuitive hand gestures for conceptual design, performed by designers (3rd, 4th year product design engineering students and recent graduates) working on their own, without instruction and without limitations imposed by the facilitating technology. This was done via a user centred study including 44 participants. 1785 gestures were collected. Gestures were explored as a sole mean for shape creation and manipulation in virtual 3D space. Gestures were identified, described in writing, sketched, coded based on the taxonomy used, categorised based on hand form and the path travelled and variants identified. Then they were statistically analysed to ascertain agreement rates between the participants, significance of the agreement and the likelihood of number of repetitions for each category occurring by chance. The most frequently used and statistically significant gestures formed the consensus set of vocabulary for conceptual design. The effect of the shape of the manipulated object on the gesture performed, and if the sequence of the gestures participants proposed was different from the established CAD solid modelling practices were also observed.Vocabulary was evaluated by non-designer participants, and the outcomes have shown that the majority of gestures were appropriate and easy to perform. Evaluation was performed theoretically and in the VR environment. Participants selected their preferred gestures for each activity, and a variant of the vocabulary for conceptual design was created as an outcome, that aims to ensure that extensive training is not required, extending the ability to design beyond trained designers only.
Date of Award14 May 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorAlex Duffy (Supervisor) & Madeleine Grealy (Supervisor)

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