Touch-based Target Selection for Mobile
Technical Report HMT-11-01
Sean T. Hayes, Eli R. Hooten, Julie A. Adams
Smart phone and slate based mobile devices have changed the way individuals interact with
computers. Users can complete tasks efficiently "on the go" using a mobile device's touch screen.
Therefore, it is important to investigate touch interaction as it pertains to a mobile (i.e., walking)
user. A user evaluation was conducted using a slate PC to present a target selection task within a
map-based interface. Participants interacted with the mobile device while seated or while walking
in an uncontrolled environment. Results indicated that mobile target selection error is significantly
higher for the mobile user. Effective widths of targets must also be significantly larger in the mobile
case and a recommended model for target width is provided. Results also indicate that finger-based
interaction differs from thumb-based interaction on a mobile device.
THE introduction of smart phone and slate personal computer technology has changed the way
that individuals complete computing tasks. Smart phone and slate devices allow users to
perform computing tasks virtually anywhere. According to market research, smart phone sales are
predicted to eclipse the sale of personal computers (e.g., desktop PCs, notebooks, etc.) by 2012 .