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Lehmann, Florian and Kipp, Michael (2018): How to Hold Your Phone When Tapping: A Comparative Study of Performance, Precision, and Errors. In: Proceedings of the 2018 Acm International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces (Iss'18): pp. 115-127

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We argue that future mobile interfaces should differentiate between various contextual factors like grip and active fingers, adjusting screen elements and behaviors automatically, thus moving from merely responsive design to responsive interaction. Toward this end we conducted a systematic study of screen taps on a mobile device to find out how the way you hold your device impacts performance, precision, and error rate. In our study, we compared three commonly used grips and found that the popular one-handed grip, tapping with the thumb, yields the worst performance. The two-handed grip, tapping with the index finger, is the most precise and least error-prone method, especially in the upper and left halves of the screen. In landscape orientation (two-handed, tapping with both thumbs) we found the best overall performance with a drop in performance in the middle of the screen. Additionally, we found differentiated trade-off relationships and directional effects. From our findings we derive design recommendations for interface designers and give an example how to make interactions truly responsive to the context-of-use.

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