Direct-touch tablets are quickly replacing traditional pen-and-paperÃ‚Â tools in many applications, but not in case of the designerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sketchbook.Ã‚Â In this paper, we explore the tradeoffs inherent in replacingÃ‚Â such paper sketchbooks with digital tablets in terms of twoÃ‚Â major tasks: tracing and free-hand sketching. Given the importanceÃ‚Â of the pen for sketching, we also study the impact of usingÃ‚Â a blunt-and-soft-tipped capacitive stylus in tablet settings. We thusÃ‚Â conducted experiments to evaluate three sketch Ã‚Â media: pen-paper,Ã‚Â finger-tablet, and stylus-tablet based on the above tasks. We analyzedÃ‚Â the tracing data with respect to speed and accuracy, andÃ‚Â the quality of the free-hand sketches through a crowdsourced survey.Ã‚Â The pen-paper and stylus-tablet media both performed significantlyÃ‚Â better than the finger-tablet medium in accuracy, whileÃ‚Â the pen-paper sketches were significantly rated higher quality comparedÃ‚Â to both tablet interfaces. A follow-up study comparing theÃ‚Â performance of this stylus with a sharp, hard-tip version showed noÃ‚Â significant difference in tracing performance, though participantsÃ‚Â preferred the sharp tip for sketching.
The media used for the main sketching study were:Ã‚Â (a) a marker pen (overall size ÃƒÂ¸12mm 123mm with a 3mmÃ‚Â tip) on paper (b) Ã‚Â finger on a 7-inch tablet, and (c) a blunt-tipÃ‚Â stylus (ÃƒÂ¸8.5mm 122mm, 6mm tip) on a 7-inch tablet.Ã‚Â The follow-up study compared (c) with (d) a hard-tip stylusÃ‚Â (ÃƒÂ¸7.6mm 114mm, 1mm tip) on a 10-inch tablet.