Pointing and Multiscale Navigation

Speaker:  Michel Beaudouin-Lafon – Orsay Cedex, France
Topic(s):  Human Computer Interaction


Pointing is by far the most common action in graphical user interfaces. It is also one of the few areas in Psychology where an empirical law lets us predict pointing performance: Fitts' law. For the past 25 years, many studies of pointing have been conducted with the main goal of improving pointing performance when interacting with a computer. Pointing has also been generalized to navigation, when the target is not in sight and some form of scrolling or panning is required to acquire it, and to multiscale interfaces that support both panning and zooming. Dozens of pointing and navigation techniques have been invented and evaluated over the years, most of them showing theoretical advantages over the state of the art. Yet almost none of them have found their way into commercial products. In this talk I describe the theoretical underpinnings of pointing, and in particular Fitts' law, and I give an overview of the most prominent pointing and navigation facilitation techniques, including some of the work I have conducted in that area in collaboration with prominent researchers from around the world. I also address the future of pointing, with the new challenges raised by very large and very small displays, and the barriers to getting better pointing techniques in the real world.

About this Lecture

Number of Slides:  32
Duration:  45 - 60 minutes
Languages Available:  English, French
Last Updated: 

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