Designing Intuitive Multi-touch 3D Navigation Techniques

  • Damien Marchal
  • Clément Moerman
  • Géry Casiez
  • Nicolas Roussel
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8117)


Multi-touch displays have become commonplace over recent years. Numerous applications take advantage of this to support interactions that build on users’ knowledge and correspond to daily practices within the real world. 3D applications are also becoming more common on these platforms, but the multi-touch techniques for 3D operations often lag behind 2D ones in terms of intuitiveness and ease of use. Intuitive navigation techniques are particularly needed to make multi-touch 3D applications more useful, and systematic approaches are direly needed to inform their design: existing techniques are still too often designed in ad-hoc ways. In this paper, we propose a methodology based on cognitive principles to address this problem. The methodology combines standard user-centered design practices with optical flow analysis to determine the mappings between navigation controls and multi-touch input. It was used to design the navigation technique of a specific application. This technique proved to be more efficient and preferred by users when compared to existing ones, which provides a first validation of the approach.


3D navigation multi-touch interaction technique design rationale 


  1. 1.
    Ajaj, R., Vernier, F., Jacquemin, C.: Follow my finger navigation. In: Gross, T., Gulliksen, J., Kotzé, P., Oestreicher, L., Palanque, P., Prates, R.O., Winckler, M. (eds.) INTERACT 2009. LNCS, vol. 5727, pp. 228–231. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bowman, D.A., Kruijff, E., LaViola, J.J., Poupyrev, I.: 3D user interfaces: theory and practice. Addison-Wesley/Pearson Education (2003)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Britton, E.G., Lipscomb, J.S., Pique, M.E.: Making nested rotations convenient for the user. In: Proc. of SIGGRAPH 1978, pp. 222–227. ACM (1978)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Christie, M., Olivier, P.: Camera control in computer graphics: models, techniques and applications. In: ACM SIGGRAPH ASIA 2009 Courses, pp. 3:1–3:197. ACM (2009)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Edelmann, J., Schilling, A., Fleck, S.: The DabR - a multitouch system for intuitive 3D scene navigation. In: Proc. of 3DTV-CON, pp. 1–4 (2009)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fu, C.W., Goh, W.B., Ng, J.A.: Multi-touch techniques for exploring large-scale 3D astrophysical simulations. In: Proc. of CHI 2010. pp. 2213–2222. ACM (2010)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gleicher, M., Witkin, A.: Through-the-lens camera control. In: Proc. of SIGGRAPH 1992, vol. 26, pp. 331–340 (1992)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hachet, M., Decle, F., Knodel, S., Guitton, P.: Navidget for easy 3D camera positioning from 2D inputs. In: Proc. of 3DUI 2008, pp. 83–89. IEEE (2008)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hutchins, E.L., Hollan, J.D., Norman, D.A.: Direct manipulation interfaces. Human-Computer Interaction 1(4), 311–338 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ingram, A., Wang, X., Ribarsky, W.: Towards the establishment of a framework for intuitive multi-touch interaction design. In: Proc. of AVI 2012, pp. 66–73. ACM (2012)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ingram, J.N., Körding, K.P., Howard, I.S., Wolpert, D.M.: The statistics of natural hand movements. Experimental Brain Research 188(2), 223–236 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jacob, R.J.K., Sibert, L.E., McFarlane, D.C., Mullen Jr., M.P.: Integrality and separability of input devices. ACM ToCHI 1(1), 3–26 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jacob, R.J., Girouard, A., Hirshfield, L.M., Horn, M.S., Shaer, O., Solovey, E.T., Zigelbaum, J.: Reality-based interaction: A framework for post-wimp interfaces. In: Proc. of CHI 2008, pp. 201–210. ACM (2008)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kim, J.S., Gračanin, D., Matković, K., Quek, F.: iPhone/iPod Touch as input devices for navigation in immersive virtual environments. In: Proc. of VR 2009, pp. 261–262. IEEE (2009)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kim, J.-S., Gračanin, D., Matković, K., Quek, F.: Finger walking in place (FWIP): A traveling technique in virtual environments. In: Butz, A., Fisher, B., Krüger, A., Olivier, P., Christie, M. (eds.) SG 2008. LNCS, vol. 5166, pp. 58–69. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kruger, R., Carpendale, S., Scott, S.D., Tang, A.: Fluid integration of rotation and translation. In: Proc. of CHI 2005, pp. 601–610. ACM (2005)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mackinlay, J.D., Card, S.K., Robertson, G.G.: Rapid controlled movement through a virtual 3D workspace. In: Proc. of SIGGRAPH 1990, pp. 171–176. ACM (1990)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Martinet, A., Casiez, G., Grisoni, L.: Integrality and separability of multitouch interaction techniques in 3D manipulation tasks. IEEE TVCG 18(3), 369–380 (2012)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    McCrae, J., Mordatch, I., Glueck, M., Khan, A.: Multiscale 3D navigation. In: Proc. of I3D 2009, pp. 7–14. ACM (2009)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Moerman, C., Marchal, D., Grisoni, L.: Drag’n Go: Simple and fast navigation in virtual environment. In: Proc. of 3DUI 2012, pp. 15–18. IEEE (2012)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Nacenta, M.A., Baudisch, P., Benko, H., Wilson, A.: Separability of spatial manipulations in multi-touch interfaces. In: Proc. of GI 2009. pp. 175–182. Canadian Information Processing Society (2009)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rasmussen, J.: Skills, rules, and knowledge; signals, signs, and symbols, and other distinctions in human performance models. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics 13(3), 257–266 (1983)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Reisman, J.L., Davidson, P.L., Han, J.Y.: A screen-space formulation for 2D and 3D direct manipulation. In: Proc. of UIST 2009, pp. 69–78. ACM (2009)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    de la Rivière, J.B., Kervégant, C., Orvain, E., Dittlo, N.: CubTile: a multi-touch cubic interface. In: Proc. of VRST 2008, pp. 69–72. ACM (2008)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Zeleznik, R., Forsberg, A.: UniCam - 2D gestural camera controls for 3D environments. In: Proc. of I3D 1999, pp. 169–173. ACM (1999)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damien Marchal
    • 1
  • Clément Moerman
    • 2
    • 3
  • Géry Casiez
    • 3
  • Nicolas Roussel
    • 4
  1. 1.CNRSFrance
  2. 2.Idées-3ComFrance
  3. 3.University of LilleFrance
  4. 4.Inria Lille Villeneuve d’AscqFrance

Personalised recommendations