Shape-changing handheld devices are emerging as research prototypes, but it is unclear how users perceive them and which experiences they engender. The little data we have on user experience is from single prototypes, only covering a small part of the possibilities in shape change. We produce 51 videos of a shape-changing handheld device by systematically varying seven parameters of shape change. In a crowd-sourced study, 187 participants watched the videos and described their experiences using rating scales and free text. We find significant and large differences among parameters of shape change. Shapes that have previously been used for notifications were rated the least urgent; the degree of shape change was found to impact experience more than type of shape change. The experience of shape change was surprisingly complex: hedonic quality were inversely related to urgency, and some shapes were perceived as ugly, yet useful. We discuss how to advance models of shape change and improve research on the experience of shape change.
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|Published - 1 May 2014