Assessing the Target’ Size and Drag Distance in Mobile Applications for Users with Autism

  • Angeles Quezada
  • Reyes Juárez-Ramírez
  • Samantha Jiménez
  • Alan Ramírez-Noriega
  • Sergio Inzunza
  • Roberto Munoz
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 746)


Users with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) show great interest in, and operate with facility, technological devices like smartphones and tablets. As a result, the number of applications specially developed for these kinds of users keeps growing. Nevertheless, the creation of an application that adapts to user abilities is not a straightforward process. This article focuses on identifying the optimal target size and drag distance that developers and designers can use when creating applications for users with ASD to allow for easier interaction of users with screen elements. In the experiment performed, different target sizes and drag distances were compared. Based on the results, we suggest that 57 pixels is the minimum target size to support the interaction of level 1 and 2 for users diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. These results can be used as guidelines for interaction designers of mobile applications for autism. Nevertheless, the creation of an application that adapts to user abilities is not a straightforward process, because users with these conditions have significant sensory-motor problems.


Autism Usability Dragging Design guidelines 



We appreciate the support of Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) and Universidad Autónoma de Baja California for resources provided to develop this research.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angeles Quezada
    • 1
  • Reyes Juárez-Ramírez
    • 1
  • Samantha Jiménez
    • 1
  • Alan Ramírez-Noriega
    • 1
  • Sergio Inzunza
    • 1
  • Roberto Munoz
    • 2
  1. 1.Universidad Autónoma de Baja CaliforniaTijuanaMexico
  2. 2.Universidad de ValparaísoValparaísoChile

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