Characterizing How Interface Complexity Affects Children’s Touchscreen Interactions


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, 7 May 2016, p.1921-1933.


“Most touchscreen devices are not designed specifically with children in mind, and their interfaces often do not optimize interaction for children. Prior work on children and touchscreen interaction has found important patterns, but has only focused on simplified, isolated interactions, whereas most interfaces are more visually complex. We examine how interface complexity might impact children’s touchscreen interactions. We collected touch and gesture data from 30 adults and 30 children (ages 5 to 10) to look for similarities, differences, and effects of interface complexity. Interface complexity affected some touch interactions, primarily related to visual salience, and it did not affect gesture recognition. We also report general differences between children and adults. We provide design recommendations that support the design of touchscreen interfaces specifically tailored towards children of this age.”