An Empirical Study on the Smallest Comfortable Button/Icon Size on Touch Screen

  • Xianghong Sun
  • Tom Plocher
  • Weina Qu
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4559)


For the convenience of firefighters’ decision-making and operation, touch screen display was chosen as the preferred interface for a fire information display system. Few studies were conducted to determine comfortable button/icon size on touch screens. This experiment investigated the effect of four factors on operators’ performance with touch screen: 1) button size (20*20, 30*30, 40*40, and 50*50 pixels 2), spacing between buttons (0, 5, 10, and 20 pixels), 3) button/icon types (digit buttons only, picture icons only, combination), and 4) glove wearing (wearing vs. not wearing). 14 males were asked to accomplish a series of matching tasks on touch screen with the forefinger of right hand. Results showed that the spacing between buttons/icons, and wearing or not wearing a glove did not affect performance. Subjects pointed to the digit buttons faster than the other two kinds of buttons/icons. There was a significant difference among button/icon sizes. People performed best when it was equal to or bigger than 40*40 pixels.


touch screen button size 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xianghong Sun
    • 1
  • Tom Plocher
    • 2
  • Weina Qu
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Inst. of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100101China
  2. 2.Honeywell ACS Labs, Minneapolis MN 55418USA

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