University of Twente Student Theses


Hierarchical gestures: ggestural shortcuts for touchscreen devices

Loch, Frieder (2012) Hierarchical gestures: ggestural shortcuts for touchscreen devices.

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Abstract:The aim of this project was to evaluate whether hierarchical gestures are a usable interaction technique. Hierarchical gestures are a technique to construct a gesture set for touchscreen devices that I propose in this report. The gestures of the vocabulary are constructed by chaining primitives, for instance Call and Frieder, to the command Call Frieder. These primitives are assigned with gestures. A command is invoked by a concatenation of the gestures that are assigned to the primitives that form the command. I expected hierarchical gestures to be a usable technique to control a smartphone. The vocabulary is motivated by the benefits that are gained from its structure, which are better learnability and higher expressivity. Furthermore, using hierarchical gestures is expected to be more efficient and to be more satisfying than using the standard interface of the smartphone. Besides, gesture-based interfaces are suitable for mobile interaction because they allow for one-handed use and require low visual attention. To validate the hypotheses, an application for Android smartphones that uses hierarchical gestures was developed. The design and the implementation of this application is described. The application supports basic functionality of a smartphone operating system: opening contacts, sending SMS, and call. This application was evaluated in a controlled study in a laboratory (n = 14). The underlying motivations of learnability, improved efficiency, and improved satisfaction were supported by that study. Improvements of the application were developed based on the results of the evaluation and implemented in the application. An additional field study was carried out with an improved application to find out whether it would be used in practice. The field study proceeded successfully and indicated the validity of the hypothesis. Furthermore, the critical parts of the evaluated application turned out to be robust. However, bugs hampered the users’ interaction with the system and the population of the study was small (n = 3). I propose revising the application again and putting it in another field study with a bigger number of participants.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
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