Tactile, Show and Hide Interface Design & Visual Distraction

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The context of this research derives from the increased integration of Information Technology into the interiors of motor vehicles through interactive screens. Evidence has since shown that these devices can be distracting and visually demanding - in certain cases, fatally. This research explores the use of in-car interactive screens and a potential design solution; A Tactile, Show and Hide Interface (TSAHI).

This potential solution was developed to systematically explore the benefits and flaws of a TSAHI, assessing if it would produce less visual distraction than a touchscreen. A prototype demonstrator that explicitly embodied psychological ideas of tactility and hide-away interaction was developed to test the ideas of a TSAHI against a touchscreen demonstrator. The demonstrators were developed to ISO, NHTSA and JAMA regulations to ensure levels of quality.

The VISual Demand (VIS-D), Lane Change Test (LCT) and User eXperience (UX) experiment were conducted in a custom-built driving simulator that complied with automotive test regulations set by ISO and NHTSA.

The VIS-D results showed significant differences in favour of the TSAHI in terms of number of glances, information perception, visual demand, magnitude and amount of visual distraction. The UX and LCT results were mixed. No significant results were found, although a trend was noted for high mental and physical demands in all the demonstrators. There were also no significant findings for the system’s usability tests between the demonstrators but all were above the threshold of usability.

The measures of visual demand show that there is a successful alternative to current solutions and problems with Visual Manual (VM) tasks with in-car IT could be alleviated with the notions of TSAHI.

This study provides interface designers with a rationale for selecting design approaches, an example of evaluation techniques that can provide an objective evidence base and results that can inform future design development.
Date of Award2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Coventry University
SupervisorLouise Moody (Supervisor), Cyriel Diels (Supervisor) & Andree Woodcock (Supervisor)

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