Touch Zone Sizing for Mobile Devices in Military Applications

  • Jerry RayEmail author
  • Stuart Michelson
  • Chandler Price
  • Cara Fausset
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9748)


Of late, the desire to adopt devices such as Apple iPads for use in military cockpits (for example, as “electronic flight bags” to replace paper-based reference materials) has increased. Two sources for touch screen design guidance for military applications are MIL-STD-1472 and manufacturer (e.g., Apple) interface style guides. However, minimum touch zone size and separation recommendations vary considerably between these sources. This study assessed the impact of manipulating touch zone size and separation in ungloved and gloved conditions. Despite a small sample size (n = 6), significant main effects of gloves and sizing guidelines were found. Unsurprisingly, participants were less accurate hitting targets on the first try when wearing gloves. Participants made no errors (i.e., activating a button other than the target) in the MIL-STD-1472 sizing condition irrespective of gloves. These results indicate that following MIL-STD-1472 guidelines reduces the likelihood of activation errors at the cost of decreased information density.


Touch screen Mobile UI design Design guidelines Aviation Gloved operation Electronic flight bags 


  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    Barstow, D.: The aviation iPad revolution. J. Air Traffic Control 54(2), 4 (2012)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    U.S. Department of Defense: MIL-STD-1472G: Department of Defense Design Criteria Standard – Human Engineering. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    Azenkot, S., Zhai, S.: Touch behavior with different postures on soft smartphone keyboards. In: 14th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, pp. 251–260. ACM (2012)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Henze, N., Rukzio, E., Boll, S.: 100,000,000 taps: analysis and improvement of touch performance in the large. In: 13th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, pp. 133–142. ACM (2011)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sears, A.: Improving touchscreen keyboards: design issues and a comparison with other devices. Interact. Comput. 3(3), 253–269 (1991)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerry Ray
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stuart Michelson
    • 1
  • Chandler Price
    • 1
  • Cara Fausset
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgia Tech Research InstituteAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations