Advertisement

Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 303–313 | Cite as

Mobile touchscreen user interfaces: bridging the gap between motor-impaired and able-bodied users

  • Hugo Nicolau
  • Tiago Guerreiro
  • Joaquim Jorge
  • Daniel Gonçalves
Long paper

Abstract

Touchscreen mobile devices are highly customizable, allowing designers to create inclusive user interfaces that are accessible to a broader audience. However, the knowledge to provide this new generation of user interfaces is yet to be uncovered. The goal was to thoroughly study mobile touchscreen interfaces and provide guidelines for informed design. The paper presents an evaluation performed with 15 tetraplegic and 18 able-bodied users that allowed to identify their main similarities and differences within a set of interaction techniques (Tapping, Crossing, and Directional Gesturing) and parameterizations. Results show that Tapping and Crossing are the most similar and easy to use techniques for both motor-impaired and able-bodied users. Regarding Tapping, error rates start to converge at 12 mm, showing to be a good compromise for target size. As for Crossing, it offered a similar level of accuracy; however, larger targets (17 mm) are significantly easier to cross for motor-impaired users. Directional Gesturing was the least inclusive technique. Regarding position, edges showed to be troublesome. For instance, they have shown to increase Tapping precision for disabled users, while decreasing able-bodied users’ accuracy when targets are too small (7 mm). It is argued that despite the expected error rate disparity, there are clear resemblances between user groups, thus enabling the development of inclusive touch interfaces. Tapping, a traditional interaction technique, was among the most effective for both target populations, along with Crossing. The main difference concerns Directional Gesturing that in spite of its unconstrained nature shows to be inaccurate for motor-impaired users.

Keywords

Mobile Touch Tetraplegic Motor-impaired Able-bodied Interaction techniques 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank all the users that participated in the studies and João Martins for developing the evaluation application. This work was supported by FCT through the PIDDAC Program funds. Hugo Nicolau and Tiago Guerreiro were supported by FCT, Grants SFRH/BD/46748/2008 and SFRH/BD/28110/2006, respectively.

References

  1. 1.
    Tilley, A., Henry Dreyfuss Associates.: The Measure of Man and Woman: Human Factors in Design. Wiley, New York, USA (2002)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Froehlich, J., Wobbrock, J.O., Kane, S.K.: Barrier pointing: using physical edges to assist target acquisition on mobile device touch screens. In: Proceedings of the 9th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, New York, NY, USA, Assets’07, ACM, pp. 19–26 (2007)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gajos, K.Z., Wobbrock, J.O., Weld, D.S.: Automatically generating user interfaces adapted to users’ motor and vision capabilities. In: UIST’07: Proceedings of the 20th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, New York, NY, USA, ACM, pp. 231–240 (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Greenstein, J.S.: Pointing devices. In: Helander, M., Landauer, T., Prabhu, P. (eds.) Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction, pp. 1317–1348. North-Holland, Amsterdam (1997)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Guerreiro, T., Nicolau, H., Jorge, J., Gonçalves, D.: Towards accessible touch interfaces. In: Proceedings of the 12th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, New York, NY, USA, ASSETS’10, ACM, pp. 19–26 (2010)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kane, S.K., Wobbrock, J.O., Smith, I.E.: Getting off the treadmill: evaluating walking user interfaces for mobile devices in public spaces. In: MobileHCI’08: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, New York, NY, USA, ACM, pp. 109–118 (2008)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lee, S., Zhai, S.: The performance of touch screen soft buttons. In: CHI’09: Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, New York, NY, USA, ACM, pp. 309–318 (2009)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lewis, J.R.: Literature review of touch screen research from 1980 to 1992. In: IBM Technical Report 54.694 (1993)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lin, M., Goldman, R., Price, K., Sears, A., Jacko, J.: How do people tap when walking? An empirical investigation of nomadic data entry. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 65(9), 759–769 (2007)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mizobuchi, S., Chignell, M., Newton, D.: Mobile text entry: relationship between walking speed and text input task difficulty. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices & Services, ACM, p. 128 (2005)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Nicolau, H., Jorge, J.: Touch typing using thumbs: understanding the effect of mobility and hand posture. In: Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (New York, NY, USA), CHI’12, ACM, pp. 2683–2686 (2012)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Parhi, P., Karlson, A.K., Bederson, B.B.: Target size study for one-handed thumb use on small touchscreen devices. In: Proceedings of the 8th Conference on Human–Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, New York, NY, USA, MobileHCI’06, ACM, pp. 203–210 (2006)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Park, Y., Han, S., Park, J., Cho, Y.: Touch key design for target selection on a mobile phone. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, ACM, pp. 423–426 (2008)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Perry, K., Hourcade, J.: Evaluating one handed thumb tapping on mobile touchscreen devices. In: Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2008, Canadian Information Processing Society, pp. 57–64 (2008)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sears, A., Young, M.: Physical disabilities and computing technologies: an analysis of impairments. In: Jacko, J.A., Sears, A. (eds.) The Human–Computer Interaction Handbook: Fundamentals, Evolving Technologies and Emerging Applications, pp. 482–503. LEA, New Jersey (2003)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Soukoreff, R., MacKenzie, I.: Towards a standard for pointing device evaluation, perspectives on 27 years of Fitts’ law research in HCI. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 61(6), 751–789 (2004)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Trewin, S.: Automating accessibility: the dynamic keyboard. ACM SIGACCESS Access. Comput. 77–78, 71–78 (2003)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wobbrock, J., Kane, S., Gajos, K., Harada, S., Froehlich, J.: Ability-based design: concept, principles and examples. ACM Trans. Access. Comput. (TACCESS) 3(3), 9 (2011)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wobbrock, J., Myers, B., Kembel, J.: EdgeWrite: a stylus-based text entry method designed for high accuracy and stability of motion. In: Proceedings of the 16th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, ACM, p. 70 (2003)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wobbrock, J.O., Gajos, K.Z.: Goal crossing with mice and trackballs for people with motor impairments: performance, submovements, and design directions. ACM Trans. Access. Comput. 1, 4:1–4:37 (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugo Nicolau
    • 1
  • Tiago Guerreiro
    • 1
  • Joaquim Jorge
    • 1
  • Daniel Gonçalves
    • 1
  1. 1.IST/Technical University of Lisbon/INESC-IDLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations