Mobile Touch and Gesture Interaction for Children (MTAGIC)

We have been investigating differences in the ways that children use touch and gesture interactions compared to adults, especially on mobile devices. In lab studies, we have found evidence that children have more difficulty successfully acquiring touch targets and making consistent gestures than adults do. These differences can lead to poorer performance of the interface for children, and we plan to explore ways to adapt interfaces to work better with children in the real world given these differences. We have been working with Quincy Brown at Bowie State University.

Check out the full project website!

The Team

Dr. Lisa Anthony
Alex Shaw
Ziyang Chen
Julia Woodward (Former Member)
Juthika Das (Former Member)
Phillip Hall (Former Member)
Akshay Holla (Former Member)
Sagar Parmar (Former Member)
Qingchuan Zhao “Bruce” (Former Member)

MTAGIC Publications

Journal Articles

1. Anthony, Lisa. 2019. Physical dimensions of children’s touchscreen interactions: Lessons from five years of study on the MTAGIC project, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 128, 2019, 16 pp, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2019.02.005. [PDF]
2. Anthony, L., Brown, Q., Nias, J. and Tate, B. 2015. Children (and Adults) Benefit From Visual Feedback during Gesture Interaction on Mobile Touchscreen Devices. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, Volume 6, December 2015, pages 17-27. [PDF]
3. Anthony, L., Brown, Q., Tate, B., Nias, J., Brewer, R., and Irwin, G. 2014. Designing Smarter Touch-Based Interfaces for Educational Contexts. Journal of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing: Special Issue on Educational Interfaces, Software, and Technology, Volume 18, Issue 6, pages 1471-1483. [PDF]

Refereed Conference Papers

1. Woodward, J., McFadden, Z., Shiver, N., Ben-hayon, A., Yip, J.C., and Anthony, L. 2018. Using Co-Design to Examine How Children Conceptualize Intelligent Interfaces. Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’2018), Montreal, Canada, April 21-26, 2018, pages 575. [PDF]
2. Woodward, J., Esmaeili, S., Jain, A., Bell, J., Ruiz, J., and Anthony, L. 2018. Investigating Separation of Territories and Activity Roles in Children’s Collaboration around Tabletops. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW’18), Article 185, Jersey City, NY, November 9-12, 2018.[PDF]
3. Woodward, J., Shaw, A., Aloba, A., Jain, A., Ruiz, J., and Anthony, L. 2017. Tablets, tabletops, and smartphones: cross-platform comparisons of children’s touchscreen interactions. Proceedings of the International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI’2017), Glasgow, UK, November 13-17, 2017, pages 5-14. [PDF]
4. Shaw, A., Ruiz, J., and Anthony, L. 2017. Comparing human and machine recognition of children’s touchscreen stroke gestures. Proceedings of the International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI’2017), Glasgow, UK, November 13-17, 2017, pages 32-40. [PDF]
5. Woodward, J., Shaw, A., Luc, A., Craig, B., Das, J., Hall Jr, P., Holla, A., Irwin, G., Sikich, D., Brown, Q., Anthony, L. 2016. Characterizing How Interface Complexity Affects Children’s Touchscreen Interactions. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing (CHI’2016), San Jose, CA, May 7-12, pages 1921-1933. [PDF]
6. Brewer, R., Anthony, L., Brown, Q., Irwin, G., Nias, J., and Tate, B. 2013. Using Gamification to Motivate Children to Complete Empirical Studies in Lab Environments. Proceedings of the International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC’2013), New York, NY, Jun 24-27, pages 388-391. [Pdf] [Poster]
7. Anthony, L., Brown, Q., Nias, J., Tate, B., and Mohan, S. 2012. Interaction and Recognition Challenges in Interpreting Children’s Touch and Gesture Input on Mobile Devices. Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces (ITS’2012), Cambridge, MA, November 11-14, pages 225-234. [PDF]

Refereed Workshop Papers

1. Anthony, L. and Brown, Q. 2015. Designing Touchscreen Interfaces that Don’t Interfere with Learning. Paper for “Innovations in Interaction Design and Learning” workshop, ACM SIGCHI Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC’2015), Boston, MA, 21 June 2015. [PDF]
2. Anthony, L. and Brown, Q. 2013. Learning from HCI: Understanding Children’s Input Behaviors on Mobile Touchscreen Devices. Paper for “Human-Computer Interaction and the Learning Sciences” workshop, International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL’2013), Madison, WI, 15 June 2013. [PDF]
3. Brown, Q., Anthony, L., Nias, J., Tate, B., Brewer, R., and Irwin, G. 2013. Towards Designing Adaptive Touch-Based Interfaces. Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI 2013 Third Mobile Accessibility Workshop (MOBACC’2013), Paris, France, 28 Apr 2013, 4pp. [PDF]
4. Brown, Q., Anthony, L., Brewer, R., Irwin, G., Nias, J., and Tate, B. 2013. Challenges of Replicating Empirical Studies with Children in HCI. Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI 2013 RepliCHI Workshop (RepliCHI’2013), Paris, France, 27-28 Apr 2013, pages 54-58. [PDF]
5. Brown, Q. and Anthony, L. 2012. Toward Comparing the Touchscreen Interaction Patterns of Kids and Adults. Proceedings of the SIGCHI Workshop on Educational Software, Interfaces and Technology (EIST’2012), Austin, TX, 05-06 May 2012. [PDF]

Funding

This work is partially supported by National Science Foundation Grant Awards #IIS-1218395 / IIS-1433228 and IIS-1218664. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect these agencies’ views.

Blogposts

Retrospective on the MTAGIC project’s 5 years of studies of children’s touchscreen interactions now published at IJHCS!

For five years, the INIT lab (and our past and present collaborators!) was engaged in an NSF-funded research project to study physical dimensions of children’s touchscreen interaction use, e.g., what happens when they try to acquire onscreen targets or make onscreen gestures. The project, called “Mobile Touch and Gesture Interaction […]

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INIT Lab paper on children’s touchscreen collaborations to appear at CSCW 2018!

We are proud to be able to say that our lab has had a paper accepted to the upcoming ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (CSCW) 2018 conference! This paper presents an analysis of children interacting around a large touchscreen tabletop display, in particular examining some previously proposed design […]

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UXPA article on children’s touchscreen interactions now live!

And now for something a little different! The INIT Lab has long been conducting research on how children’s physical capabilities (e.g., motor skills development) affects their interactions with touchscreen devices like iPads and smartphones. Other researchers, like Alexis Hiniker and her former advisor Julie A. Kientz, both at the University […]

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INIT Lab paper on co-design of intelligent user interfaces accepted to CHI’2018!

We are pleased to share that our paper “Using Co-Design to Examine How Children Conceptualize Intelligent Interfaces” has been accepted to the upcoming ACM SIGCHI 2018 conference, to be held in April in Montreal, Canada! The first author is our own former undergraduate star, Julia Woodward, who is now a […]

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MTAGIC Project: Co-Designing intelligent interfaces

In our previous post on this project, we discussed getting design input from children for designing intelligent interfaces such as speech, gesture, and touch. We are collaborating with Jason Yip from University of Washington on this project. Jason is the director of KidsTeam UW, where he is co-designing new technologies […]

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MTAGIC Project: Investigating new touchscreen devices for children

In a previous post on the MTAGIC project, we presented results of a study that found that interface complexity (simple, abstract interface vs. complex interface) affected children’s performance of some touch interactions and did not affect gesture interactions on smartphone devices. Recently, we have been extending this project to identify […]

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MTAGIC Project: Tabletop collaboration

We are currently extending our previous research [1,2,3] on children’s touch and gesture interaction patterns to interactive tabletop computers as well as looking at the collaboration between children on the multi-touch tabletop. We are looking at how to scaffold positive collaboration on the tabletop with children ages 5 to 10. […]

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MTAGIC Project: Co-Designing intelligent interfaces with children

As seen in our previous research [1, 2, 3], recognition of children’s gesture input is not as accurate as it is for adults, and children have more difficulty with touch interactions. These findings show that intelligent user interfaces such as touch, gesture, and speech can pose challenges for children because […]

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MTAGIC Project: CHI Presentation

In the last post, we mentioned that our paper on the MTAGIC study – “Characterizing How Interface Complexity Affects Children’s Touchscreen Interactions” – was accepted to CHI 2016, a top conference for Human Computer Interaction! The paper focused on whether interface complexity had an effect on touch and gesture interactions […]

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MTAGIC Project: CHI 2016 paper accepted!

In the last post, we had submitted our paper on the MTAGIC study findings and were waiting to find out if it was accepted. Our paper, “Characterizing How Interface Complexity Affects Children’s Touchscreen Interactions”, was accepted to CHI 2016, a top conference for Human Computer Interaction! The paper focused on […]

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MTAGIC Project: Gesture analysis

In our last post we discussed how we were working on replicating analyses from previous studies. We have completed these analyses and written and submitted a paper on our findings. When our paper is accepted, we will post the abstract and announce our findings! Since then, we’ve begun exploring the […]

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MTAGIC Project: Target analysis

In our last update about MTAGIC we were validating the data and starting to do analysis and looking for patterns. Since then we have finished our analysis and have submitted a paper to a conference on human computer interaction. Some aspects that we looked at during our target analysis was […]

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MTAGIC Project: Searching for patterns

In our last update we had just finished running the study and we were just about to start analyzing the data. Since then we have been focusing on validating all of the data and working on the analysis. We have been looking at all of the touch data and made […]

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MTAGIC team starts the summer off with momentum

At the time of my last post back in March, the MTAGIC team was recruiting for our study; these past few months, we have been finishing up the study. Originally we planned to be done earlier in the spring semester, but we did not get the total number of participants […]

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MTAGIC Project: Study recruitment week (Feb 23-27)

This past week the MTAGIC team took its talents to P.K. Yonge Developmental School to recruit for the studies coming up in weeks to come. The recruitment process was pleasant eventhough members of the team were slightly nervous given that none of us had recruiting experience. Recruitment consisted of us interacting […]

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MTAGIC Project: Prep up for the next phase

Since our last update on the MTAGIC project last semester [MTAGIC blogpost], we have been continuing analysis of our dataset from the adults in our study. I’m working on the mobile applications for the user studies involving children. The team has been working on analyzing the data that was collected […]

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MTAGIC Project: Adults’ data exploration

We have finished the user study with adult sessions two weeks ago and look forward to recruiting children from a local school to participate in our user study soon. We are now exploring the raw data from adults. Following instructions and advices from Dr. Anthony, we have aggregated our data […]

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MTAGIC Project: Effect of context

On the MTAGIC project we have been working on developing better touchscreen interfaces for children, starting with understanding how kids actually use touchscreens and whether this differs from how adults do. We’ve seen evidence in our earlier studies that kids’ touch input and gesture input patterns do differ from adults’ […]

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