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Goal Crossing with Mice and Trackballs for People with Motor Impairments

Summary: 4
Goal Crossing with Mice and Trackballs
for People with Motor Impairments:
Performance, Submovements,
and Design Directions
University of Washington
Prior research shows that people with motor impairments face considerable challenges when using
conventional mice and trackballs. One challenge is positioning the mouse cursor within confined
target areas; another is executing a precise click without slipping. These problems can make
mouse pointing in graphical user interfaces very difficult for some people. This article explores goal
crossing as an alternative strategy for more accessible target acquisition. In goal crossing, targets
are boundaries that are simply crossed by the mouse cursor. Thus, goal crossing avoids the two
aforementioned problems. To date, however, researchers have not examined the feasibility of goal
crossing for people with motor difficulties. We therefore present a study comparing area pointing
and goal crossing. Our performance results indicate that although Fitts' throughput for able-
bodied users is higher for area pointing than for goal crossing (4.72 vs. 3.61 bits/s), the opposite is
true for users with motor impairments (2.34 vs. 2.88 bits/s). However, error rates are higher for
goal crossing than for area pointing under a strict definition of crossing errors (6.23% vs. 1.94%).
We also present path analyses and an examination of submovement velocity, acceleration, and jerk


Source: Anderson, Richard - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington at Seattle
Chen, Yiling - School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University
Wobbrock, Jacob O. - Information School, University of Washington at Seattle


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences