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Image 6 above: User has pressed the left arrow again, and the magnet is now moving at its maximum speed. Three arrows now appear in the direction the magnet is moving to indicate its direction and maximum speed.

Image 7 above: The user can stop the movement of the magnet any time by pressing ESC, Enter, or any direction key other than the direction they are moving in. The intention is to make it easy to stop movement and give control to the user.

Image 8 above: The user has tapped the right arrow key three times, so the magnet is now moving right at a fast speed by itself.

Image 9 above: The user can reverse the direction any time by pressing the spacebar. This way the student can experiment with speed and movement easily with the spacebar (easy to press) and a few taps of the arrow keys.

Image 10 above: To summarize, the arrow keys control the direction of travel. Once the magnet begins to move, it will continue to do so on its own. It can increase its speed with subsequent presses of the arrow key, switch directions, or stop.

Possible Design issues

  • The "Wild Ride" phenomenon
  • How many steps in the throttle?
  • Instead of stopping the magnet if a different direction key is pressed, what if the magnet continued moving in the new direction at the same speed?
  • What would it be like to have two modes for keyboard interaction: standard cursor control style of interaction, and this "throttle" control scheme?


Image 1 Above: Initial view