2022.03.25 filmfinder.ly

In a previous activity you designed a modern desktop update of Ahlberg and Schneiderman's Film Finder. Your goal was to make exploring the data easier by providing an overview and tools for investigating specific data details through filtering and navigation. While this went well, we still stuck to traditional WIMP user interface principles. This time you will throw those principles out of the window to develop a flashy new prototype, filmfinder.ly, which will help users find films using post-WIMP interactions described in papers such as Beyond Mouse & Keyboard and Reality-based Interaction.

Here are a few examples of post-WIMP and NUI visualization techniques and tools:

In this activity, you will redesign the Film Finder for the post-WIMP era. As a reminder, here is what FilmFinder looks like:

Main interface:

After some filters have been applied:

This is a post-WIMP design activity. This means that you should be as creative as possible with regards to the interactions, affordances, and even form factor of your visualization system. You are welcome to consider wall-sized, tabletop, handheld, multi-touch, VR/AR, physicalized (e.g. magnetic balls on a sand table; ultrasonic levitation), smartphone, or other contexts for your version of filmfinder. You can hand-wave away troublesome technical feasibility issues if it helps you to explore the design space (e.g. assuming you have a holographic display or perfect detection of user's gestures). Regardless of form factor, your prototype must provide an overview of data, a means to explore details, and affordances for navigating/filtering based on users' criteria.


  1. Please assemble into groups as designated on the projector.
  2. Spend 10 minutes going through some of the different examples provided above as a group. Be aware that some videos have loud audio.
  3. Afterwards, discuss some of the post-WIMP interactions and themes that seem most relevant for film-finding. Come up with a list of activities you want your film finder to support (e.g. searching by genre, finding the highest rated film, observing correlations).
  4. For the next 10 or so minutes, work individually to sketch up some ideas for filmfinder.ly based on your discussion. Each person should produce at least two unique sketch ideas. Make sure that your ideas incorporate post-WIMP or NUI principles into their designs.
  5. For the last 15 minutes, come together as a group and create a consensus sketch that summarizes or refines your group's strongest ideas on a large sheet of paper. Make sure to storyboard your interactive elements or annotate them to explain how they work. If you are designing a tabletop display, consider putting the paper flat on a table to simulate users' views. If you are doing something 3d, you are welcome (though not required) to create an assemblage or installation to express your idea.
  6. Lastly, demo your ideas to the class.