Beyond Snapping: Persistent, Tweakable Alignment and Distribution with StickyLines

Marianela Ciolfi Felice 1, 2, 3 Nolwenn Maudet 1, 2, 3 Wendy E. Mackay 1, 2, 3 Michel Beaudouin-Lafon 1, 2, 3
1 EX-SITU - Extreme Interaction
LRI - Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique, Inria Saclay - Ile de France
Abstract : Aligning and distributing graphical objects is a common, but cumbersome task. In a preliminary study (six graphic designers , six non-designers), we identified three key problems with current tools: lack of persistence, unpredictability of results, and inability to 'tweak' the layout. We created StickyLines, a tool that treats guidelines as first-class objects: Users can create precise, predictable and persistent interactive alignment and distribution relationships, and 'tweaked' positions can be maintained for subsequent interactions. We ran a [2x2] within-participant experiment to compare Sticky-Lines with standard commands, with two levels of layout difficulty. StickyLines performed 40% faster and required 49% fewer actions than traditional alignment and distribution commands for complex layouts. In study three, six professional designers quickly adopted StickyLines and identified novel uses, including creating complex compound guidelines and using them for both spatial and semantic grouping.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 2:49:56 PM
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Marianela Ciolfi Felice, Nolwenn Maudet, Wendy E. Mackay, Michel Beaudouin-Lafon. Beyond Snapping: Persistent, Tweakable Alignment and Distribution with StickyLines. UIST '16 Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, Oct 2016, Tokyo, Japan. ⟨10.1145/2984511.2984577⟩. ⟨hal-01410171⟩

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