Gestures that people can understand and use

Carmelo Ardito*, Maria Francesca Costabile, Hans Christian Jetter

*Corresponding author for this work
17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent advances in computing devices push researchers to envision new interaction modalities that go beyond traditional mouse and keyboard input. Typical examples are large displays for which researchers hope to create more "natural" means of interaction by using human gestures and body movements as input. In this article, we reflect about this goal of designing gestures that people can easily understand and use and how designers of gestural interaction can capitalize on the experience of 30 years of research on visual languages to achieve it. Concretely, we argue that gestures can be regarded as "visual expressions to convey meaning" and thus are a visual language. Based on what we have learned from visual language research in the past, we then explain why the design of a generic gesture set or language that spans many applications and devices is likely to fail. We also discuss why we recommend using gestural manipulations that enable users to directly manipulate on-screen objects instead of issuing commands with symbolic gestures whose meaning varies among different users, contexts, and cultures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Visual Languages and Computing
Volume25
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)572-576
Number of pages5
ISSN1045-926X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01.10.2014

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