An animated use sketch is a movie scenario showing the use of an envisioned design. It is created using cutout animation, primitive motion and a simple soundtrack.

The idea is to express the design idea in some detail, and at the same time convey the tentative nature of the idea through the sketchy style.

This example concerns a proposed support system for maintenance of electrical filters. I made the backgrounds as collages of old images found in the public library; foreground characters were hand-drawn, scanned and then colored in the computer. The animation was put together and edited in Macromedia Director.



The maintenance technician uses a voice and speech interface to report the status of around 100 inspection points. Speech is input through a laryngophone, since the technician has to wear a mask inside the dusty and dirty filter.



Spoken names of inspection points and status values are interpreted by the system and stored in the inspection database.

Freeform comments are stored as audio recordings.



Some inspection points are physically awkward to reach, which more or less requires a handsfree interaction technique.

The dialogue is normally controlled by the technician, who visits the inspection points in the order he prefers. However, it is possible to go to guide mode where the system prompts for status values following a predefined order of inspection points.



When all inspection points are done, the technician has a quick shower and then goes through the reported data on his laptop. He listens to his freeform annotations and types corresponding notes into the database; the rest of the data was entered already during the inspection.



The technician and the client representative go through the inspection results and negotiate the maintenance plan up to next inspection.



The inspection report and maintenance plan are generated from the database before the technician leaves the client.

The movie from which these slides are taken is available for download here in low-resolution Quicktime. There is more to read on the sketching technique in the paper Animated use sketches as design representations (interactions xi(6):22-27).