Instrumental Interaction:
An Interaction Model for Designing Post-WIMP Interfaces

Michel Beaudouin-Lafon

University of Aarhus
Dept of Computer Science
Aabogade 34
8200 Aarhus N - Denmark

Proc. ACM Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2000,
The Hague (Netherlands), 1-6 April 2000, ACM Press, pp 446-453.


This article introduces a new interaction model called Instrumental Interaction that extends and generalizes the principles of direct manipulation. It covers existing interaction styles, including traditional WIMP interfaces, as well as new interaction styles such as two-handed input and augmented reality. It defines a design space for new interaction techniques and a set of properties for comparing them. Instrumental Interaction describes graphical user interfaces in terms of domain objects and interaction instruments. Interaction between users and domain objects is mediated by interaction instruments, similar to the tools and instruments we use in the real world to interact with physical objects. The article presents the model, applies it to describe and compare a number of interaction techniques, and shows how it was used to create a new interface for searching and replacing text.

Keywords: Interaction model, WIMP interfaces, direct manipulation, post-WIMP interfaces, instrumental interaction.

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See also: AVI 2000 paper on Design Principles

See also: DIS 2000 paper on Design process

See also: UIST 2000 paper on Architecture and implementation

See also: PN 2000 paper for a summary of the CPN2000 project