A Comparison Study on Front- and Back-of-Device Touch Input for Handheld Displays

Liang CHEN  Dongyi CHEN  Xiao CHEN  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E101-C   No.11   pp.880-883
Publication Date: 2018/11/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.E101.C.880
Type of Manuscript: BRIEF PAPER
Category: 
Keyword: 
handheld displays,  back-of-device interaction,  touch manipulation,  Fitts' law,  pointing task,  

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Summary: 
Touch screen has become the mainstream manipulation technique on handheld devices. However, its innate limitations, e.g. the occlusion problem and fat finger problem, lower user experience in many use scenarios on handheld displays. Back-of-device interaction, which makes use of input units on the rear of a device for interaction, is one of the most promising approaches to address the above problems. In this paper, we present the findings of a user study in which we explored users' pointing performances in using two types of touch input on handheld devices. The results indicate that front-of-device touch input is averagely about two times as fast as back-of-device touch input but with higher error rates especially in acquiring the narrower targets. Based on the results of our study, we argue that in the premise of keeping the functionalities and layouts of current mainstream user interfaces back-of-device touch input should be treated as a supplement to front-of-device touch input rather than a replacement.