Electrical, Electronics Assignment Answer

Project Title : Improving handed target acquisition techniques on mobile touch screens.


A common issue within modern technologies is the fact that it is very difficult to find the target position on mobile touch screens. While they are using touch screen on mobile devices they could not able to find the target position what user exactly interact with touch. There are some thumb interaction techniques to address these types of problems of touch screen. This proposal outlines an experiment to see these thumb interaction techniques successfully applied to mobile touch screens to access all target positions on the screen.

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This proposal begins by giving detailed introduction about touch screens and types of problems being addressed while using touch screens. And background information about touch screens also explained. Following this introduction, there are project aims and objectives are explained. Some major tasks are listed to achieve each and every objective. A literature review, the various types of thumb interaction techniques and conceptual information about touch screens are explained. This is followed by research methodology for performing the whole project. This research methodology includes how each and every objective can be achieved and what are the practical methods to carryout the entire project. A Gantt chart, which is rough schedule of the entire project and when is going to be finished. Finally conclusion, it defines what are the outcomes would be as well as the importance of this research project in terms of interaction techniques on mobile touch screens.


Most of the mobile devices in the market now fitted with touch screens that enable users to interact directly with their fingers on the screen. The main advantage of touch screens for mobile devices is that user can have bigger screen that means no need to allocate the space for keypad. Touch screen devices are becoming popular due to the screen size, higher resolution and falling prices down of touch screen devices. Having larger screens is advantage to the users to be more flexible and they can have better display of videos and web pages or games.

If the user really wants to enter any text or message, a soft keyboard can be displayed to help the user. Mobile interaction should just require one hand with thumb finger being used for operating touch screens. On mobile touch screen, using stick is easy to find target position rather than using with thumb finger. Because the end surface of finger is too big but user cannot use the stick all the times. If we are using stick, we need to use doth hands. User cannot operate with single hand while using stick. These days people mostly like to use touch screen with one hand. In addition, there are many cases in which users may prefer to operate mobile touch screen with their preferred hand.

Many pen or stick based touch screen devices utilize sensing techniques that can track not only stylus but also can touch input. When pen input is not possible, touch input such as one handed operation is available to the user to interact on the screen. Most of the people prefer to use their finger to save the time when compare to use with pen or stick. Especially for short interactions such as answering a call, verifying time and controlling media player etcetera. Another advantage of touch screen is discoverability. In case of physical keyboard enabled mobile phones, user needs to remember some input commands in order to carry out their task on the screen where as touch screen enabled mobile phones user don't need to remember input commands. Touch screen allows users to directly organize the commands what ever user is going to do on the screen.

This project proposal document has explained about different thumb interaction techniques to use touch screen effectively.


The main aim of the project is to evaluate the effectiveness of thumb interaction techniques for target acquisition on mobile touch screens. This will investigate the different types of thumb interaction techniques to interact with touch screens efficiently.


This research project has certain goals and objectives to evaluate the efficiency of thumb interaction techniques. Objectives of the project are listed below.

1. To explain the functionality of thumb interaction techniques and show how they can be useful to the touch screens.
2. Investigate the acquisition techniques to make use of touch screen easy and faster way.
3. Design and evaluation of Taptap and magstick thumb interaction techniques for target selection on mobile touch screen.
4. To develop prototype using appropriate methods to explain the functionality of these thumb interaction techniques.
5. To explain how these techniques overcome the target acquisition problems of mobile touch screen.
6. Evaluate the outcome for each and every objective and compare results.

Major tasks

1. review the inner functionality of touch screen, standard methods and laws which are
2. Obtain several papers to show how thumb interaction techniques are useful to the touch screen users.
3. Review and evaluation of the use of thumb interaction techniques for the mobile touch screens.
4. Identify existing thumb interaction techniques, which are available to the users in present situations and find they are having any problems with these techniques.
5. Create prototype using appropriate method to implement the thumb interaction techniques for touch screens.
6. Some practical with few participants who are already have experience in using touch screens.
7. To gather different opinions from people through interviews and some questionnaires.
8. Obtain results from each and every objective and compare these results to previous techniques.

Literature Review

Summarize the certain thumb interaction techniques, some standard laws and their relative applications encapsulated by the scope of this project. A brief content of each and every technique is explained in this project proposal document.

Recent studies shown that still the problems like target accessibility means reaching far targets with the finger, visual occlusion and accuracy are not yet solved completely. People are still facing these problems while they are using mobile touch screen with their finger.

Target Accessibility: The most common problem while we are interact with touch screen. The target positions at the screen edges are very difficult to reach when use with thumb finger. This will occupy the screen areas that are far from thumb extent that is the top and left border for a right hand user.

Visual Occlusion: While interacting with finger, the thumb hides a part of the screen and it will occlude small targets. Because the pointing surface of the thumb finger is too big and it will hides the side target positions of the exact target position.

Accuracy: The minimum target size on the screen for the thumb is 9.2 mm. if we use this target size as a minimum, user can easily access the contact points with the thumb. But this procedure reduces the number of target positions because the lack of the screen and also this is inapplicable for many operations like browsing and playing games. In the past, the research study on improving touch screen performance, efficiency and usability can be grouped into techniques to improve the precision of finger pointing and those that avoid finger occlusion.

Specializing The User Interface For Fingers:

The maximum usability can be achieved with user interfaces designed directly for the possibilities of the finger such user interfaces typically avoid some small targets on the screen. For example apple iphone, this contains appropriate capabilities of finger and this mobile achieved good usability level. However, creating this type of input specialized versions of devices is expensive and also if both pen and finger input are used intermittently. After words, two sets of contact specialized interfaces would need to be available.

Techniques For Increasing Finger Precision:

This is a most common problem while we are using touch screen. A large research has done on thumb interaction techniques and they have found some technique but these techniques also address the same problem of finger occlusion. Albinsson and zhai, they have used widgets for a thumb fingers selection pointing by zooming and pixel adjustment. By using these techniques they have got fewer errors for targets which are smaller than 0.8mm with this special technique. These techniques are a bit slower when compare to offset cursor technique for the target selection larger than 3.2mm. Finger occlusion was not strictly compared in their techniques, but some of these techniques can be helpful because they have used widgets which are placed away from the target positions. These all techniques are based on by default or standard technique which is called direct touch or click technique. They compared these two techniques zooming and two fingered offset cursor and they have found zooming technique is more precise for 1 pixel targets where as off set cursor is less precise for target size up to 8 pixels.

Avoiding Finger Occlusion:

When compare to all these technologies, offset cursor technique is designed especially to reduce finger occlusion on touch screen. In finger based strategy, whether direct touch is better or offset cursor is better in terms of low error rate. Since their experiment design does not separate effects of pointer offset and selection strategy and that too it is difficult to tell this is due to the offset cursor technique. But in case of pen based study, the researchers confirmed that offset cursor technique to advantageous in terms of error rate. Some applications which create multiple views of the same proposed object for target accessibility can be purposed to solve the problem of finger occlusion. they explored using the underside of interactive table to address occlusion. But this method requires special hardware package and usability with a hand held device which is not yet evaluated. The use of stylus or pen based touch screen mobiles preferred well because the pointing surface of the stylus is small where as the hand or thumb pointing surfaces are big. It means small target selections are too difficult to reach.

SimPress Clicking:

Both tapping techniques and dragging techniques defines that require target position to be continuously reported. But most current touch sensitive devices only sense location when the contact is actually touching the surface, making it difficult to approximate those two states. A possible solution for this type of problem is pressure sensing and maps the increased pressure to the dragging state. Simpress clicking requires user to track motion of the target selections with their finger in order to get exact target selection. By fixing the cursor at middle point the user can able to track the objects with out changing cursor position.

Tap Tap And Magstick Techniques:

These techniques are designed for interacting mobile touch screens with their thumb. These both techniques are implemented to reduce the difficulty of target accessibility, visual occlusion and accuracy. Tap Tap technique is merely an improvement of direct touch technique as well as magstick is an improvement of offset cursor technique. For small target positions, one tap is not efficient. There is a need of second tap to implement selection. Precisely first tap decides the target area and second tap will display a popup on the screen. In this popup we can see desired target area. This also increases the accessibility in screen edges. And also based on zooming technique, this method has specific strategy to find the targets.

Magstick technique is relying on offset cursor procedure. This is more significant than direct touch technique. This technique solves the problems of screen accessibility and visual occlusion by providing a telescopic stick that contains magnetized cursor. It can reach any target on the screen including screen edges. The main drawback of offset cursor technique is, user does not know exact position of cursor until he touches the screen. Where as in magstick technique user can able to see the cursor and then he can start interact with touch screens. The user can predict how far he has to move his finger before touching the screen. Researchers found that these two techniques are satisfies all usability conditions and almost these techniques solves the problems of target accessibility and visual occlusion with touch screen devices.

Fitts's Law: Many studies about pointing movements have used fitts's law in order to implement their task in terms of touch screen. The basic equation of fitts's law is MT = a + blog2 (A/W+1)
In the above mentioned equation MT is defined as movement time, a and b are the empirically derived constants, A is the amplitude i.e. distance between target and starting point and finally W is width of the target. This law predicts that people will take longer to point at targets that are smaller in size. The difficulty of particular pointing task is defined as ID = log2 (A/W+1). And index of performance is derived from the following equation. That is IP = ID/MT. This equation is very useful while conducting experiments with participants to know the performance of each and individual.

Research Methodology

This topic aim to summarise the different research methodologies to evaluate the project issues these methodologies will help to the project to reach the objectives and goals. The aim will be satisfied by using various methodologies like questionnaires, interviews, prototype technology and experiments. The two methodologies interviews and questionnaires will be conducted with a group of people to find out the information about problems while using thumb interaction techniques on touch screen. And finally the research will also be carried out by using web resources and compare these results to the real applications. The methods which will be used in this project are:
1. Questionnaires.
2. Interviews.
3. Prototype technology.
4. Experiments.


In this task of research methodology, a set of questions will be prepared which all addresses the problems of touch screen devices. And also this will act as a survey to find about more thumb interaction techniques to use in touch screen devices.


Interviews in this research project to find out the difficulties while using touch screens and what are the problems they are facing. Through these interviews we can have an idea about how they using techniques and which techniques are available to the users. These interviews will help my project to get the relevant information to carryout the task.

Prototype Technology:

In this project research methodology, there is a need to create a prototype to compare the different types of techniques. Most of the touch screen interaction techniques are implemented in c# with relative mobile processors. This prototype technology is planning to create with different Microsoft applications like PowerPoint. But this type of prototypes does not allow to the users to the movable operations like zooming and dragging. If this project got time to create prototype by using computer languages we can get better results and also users can have clear idea about the tasks which they are going to do.

Experimental Work:

In this experimentation, my project will need few participants. They need to know some thing about touch screen usage before. In this part, the efficiency of the interaction techniques will take place and it's depending on the position of the target. To reduce the task time for participants, there is considerable target size which is 3 mm. because this value reported as a minimum widget size in mobile touch screens. Vogel also stated as the minimal target size of the touch screen larger than 18 pixels. The whole experiment will do it by the participants to compare different techniques with their results. Participants will allow doing all the operations at the time of experiment. During the task, the time and thumb movements will be recorded to compare all these all techniques. From these results, my project is going to decide which technique is efficient and appropriate for touch screen users.

All the research methods used in this project are expected to get better results and in identifying thumb interaction techniques and finding more information about touch screen developments.

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