Tactile Narratives: Augmenting Body Maps through Textured Fabric in Soma Design

In Human-Computer Interaction, body maps are a standard tool to understand an individual’s bodily phenomenon. Body maps often use abstract drawings and text annotations on an outline of a body. However, little research has explored alternate ways we can collect similar data. In this pictorial, we present tactile body maps, which use an array of textured fabric circles attached to a felt-shaped body instead of a more traditional approach to drawing body maps. We first present an illustration of how researchers can use tactile body maps and show an example of the type of data collected in the method. We then tested the augmented body map method alongside drawing body maps and verbal-only body descriptions with eight participants to explore the benefits and disadvantages of each technique. Through the data, we present a set of considerations that a researcher can use to decide which way would be most appropriate for their soma design process.