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Palleis, Henri and Hußmann, Heinrich (2016): Indirect 2D Touch Panning: How Does It Affect Spatial Memory and Navigation Performance? In: Kaye, Jofish (ed.) : CHI 2016 : proceedings : the 34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems : San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, CA, May 7-12. New York, N.Y.: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 1947-1951

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We present experimental work which explores the effect of touch indirectness on spatial memory and navigation performance in a 2D panning task. In this regard and based on the theory of embodied cognition, prior work has observed performance increases for direct touch input over indirect mouse input. As indirect touch systems gain in importance, we designed an experiment to systematically investigate the effect of spatial indirectness while maintaining the proprioceptive and kinesthetic cues provided by touch input. In an abstract search task, participants of our study navigated a 2D space and were asked to reproduce spatial item configurations in a recall task. Our results indicate that spatial memory performance is not decreased by a spatial separation of touch input gestures and visual display. Further, our results suggest that decreasing the size of the input surface in the indirect condition increases the navigation efficiency.

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