Defining Haptic Experience (HX)

We offer a definition of haptic experience (HX), the user experience particular to haptic technologies, and a model for both experiential dimensions and usability requirements for creating a good haptic experience.

high level model of haptic experienceHaptic technology is maturing, with expectations and evidence that it will contribute to user experience (UX). However, we have very little understanding about how haptic technology can influence people's experience. Researchers and designers need a way to understand, communicate, and evaluate haptic technology's effect on UX. From a literature review and two studies - one with haptics novices, the other with expert hapticians - we developed a theoretical model of the factors that constitute a good haptic experience (HX). We define HX and propose its constituent factors: design parameters of Timeliness, Density, Intensity, and Timbre; the cross-cutting concern of Personalization; usability requirements of Utility, Causality, Consistency, and Saliency; and experiential factors of Harmony, Expressivity, Autotelics, Immersion, and Realism as guiding constructs important for haptic experience. This model will help guide design and research of haptic systems, inform language around haptics, and provide the basis for evaluative instruments, such as checklists, heuristics, or questionnaires.


Kim, E., and O. Schneider, "Defining Haptic Experience: Foundations for Understanding, Communicating, and Evaluating HX", CHI ’20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 04/2020. Honourable mention award (top 5%). (PDF)


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    Project time line: 
    January, 2019 to August, 2020
    Last updated: May 18, 2020

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