Janin Koch

PhD Candidate at Aalto University

Computational Layout Perception using Gestalt Laws

We present preliminary results on computational perception of interactive layouts. Our goal is to algorithmically estimate how users perceive a layout. Potential applications range from automated usability evaluation to computer-generated and adaptive interfaces. Layout perception is challenging, however, because of diverse features, combinatorial complexity, and absence of approaches. We have explored Gestalt laws as parsing heuristics. Our approach finds a parametrization that optimally resolves conflicts among competing interpretations of a layout. The output is a hierarchical grouping of main elements. The results are promising: an implementation of just four Gestalt laws enables hierarchical grouping that presents promising results in 90% of our (realistic) test cases

Citation: Koch, Janin, and Antti Oulasvirta. "Computational layout perception using gestalt laws." Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2016.

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Surfing for Inspiration: Digital Inspirational Material in Design Practice

Over the last decade, many new opportunities have emerged to support creativity and problem-solving in design by finding inspirational materials via the Internet. Online design communities such as those of Behance and Pinterest showcase portfolios and user-made artwork, and they offer support for designers’ day-to-day work to find and collect inspirational material. However, very little is known about how these communities affect inspiration-related practices of professional designers and how designers view them. This paper presents new data on the practices designers employ when seeking digital inspiration sources online and reflecting on, tracking, and managing them in today’s Web design. Current practice and views on sources of inspiration were described based on responses from 51 professional designers. The results suggest that the Internet has become a prevalent source for ideas in design, yet designers experience mounting issues of trust and relatedness with regard to online sources. Therefore, encouraging both should be considered a guiding principle for tools aimed at supporting designers within the realm of design practice.

Citation: Koch, Janin, Magda Laszlo, Andrés Lucero, and Antti Oulasvirta. 2018. “Surfing for Inspiration: Digital Inspirational Material in Design Practice.” In Proceedings of Design Research (DRS), 2018.

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