In previous posts, we have talked about our observations of museum visitors interacting with Google Earth on touch-enabled large-screen displays mounted on the wall or as a tabletop. We are pleased to announce that our paper, “Gestures by Children and Adults on Touch Tables and Touch Walls in a Public Science Center,” which reports on this work, has been accepted and will appear at the upcoming ACM Interaction Design and Children conference! This paper includes our project team: me (Dr. Lisa Anthony), Dr. Kathryn A. Stofer, and undergraduate Annie Luc, as well as our collaborator from the University of Washington, Dr. Jacob O. Wobbrock. The paper compares interaction patterns between children and adults, and between the touch table and the touch wall. Here is the abstract:
Research on children’s interactions with touchscreen devices has examined small and large screens and compared interaction to adults or among children of different ages. Little work has explicitly compared interaction on different platforms, however. Large touchscreen displays can be deployed flat, as in a table, or vertically, as on a wall. While these two form factors have been studied, it is not known what differences may exist between them. We present a study of visitors to a science museum, including children and their parents, who interacted with Google Earth on either a touch table or a touch wall. We compare the types of gestures and interactions attempted on each device and find several interesting results, including: users of all ages tend to make standard touchscreen gestures on both platforms, but children were more likely than adults to try new gestures. Users were more likely to perform two-handed, multi-touch gestures on the touch wall than on the touch table. Our findings will inform the design of future interactive applications for each platform.
The camera-ready version of the paper (and our presentation slides) are available here. The conference is coming up in Manchester, UK, in late June.