OcotoPocus: A Dynamic Guide for Learning Gesture-Based Command Sets
Olivier Bau & Wendy E. Mackay
The Octopocus system is a different type of help service for computers. It helps users learn gesture based commands for programs. Although gesture based commands can be very useful, they are also often unintuitive and difficult to remember.
The Octopocus sytem provides a way to teach a set of gesture based commands. The user can select novice or expert mode. In expert mode, there is no help offered. In novice mode, however, the user can click and hold down the mouse (or whatever input method is being used). In a second, the Octopocus system will display all of the different gestures able to be given at that time. The user then selects a command and begins to follow the path layed out by the system. As the user progresses along the path, commands that had different gestures quickly fade, while commands that have a similar gesture will remain, although they will become less visible.
In the tests, the overall results slightly favored Octopocus over the traditional help menu, with errors being slightly lower, however, particpants used Octopocus more often than the help menu. They found it to be a helpful and intuitive way to learn commands.
I do not have much experience with gesture based commands, but to me, the idea behind Octopocus seems logical, intuitive, and cleverly implemented.