The relationship of physicality and its underlying mapping

Masitah Ghazali*, Alan Dix, Kiel Gilleade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We understand how physical things work from our experience interacting with them. The cause-effect mapping instills our knowledge of interaction. We extend our knowledge of physical interactions when interacting with computing devices, especially when we do not have prior experience with those devices. But, the mapping of interaction in the digital world is not as straightforward as in the physical world. It is unclear how far the rules of physicality hold in the computing realm when the level and kind of feedback is not necessarily the same with physical effort? How do we cope when the underlying mapping is incoherent in relation to the physical control? In this paper, we report a study on Cruel Design. Its objectives are: i) to investigate the role of physicality in the physical-logical interaction, and ii) to observe the behaviors of users as incoherent mappings occur. Four conditions to illustrate the different design of mappings were presented to users. From the findings, the physical condition plays a more dominant role than having to remember the correct mapping of the logical states, and, inverting an action on the same controller (regardless the type of mapping) is the natural reaction to overshoot.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18095-18103
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Intuitive interaction
  • Natural mapping
  • Physical-logical relationship
  • Physicality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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