Don’t Touch Me! A Comparison of Usability on Touch and Non-touch Inputs


Public touchscreens are filthy and, regardless of how often they are cleaned, they pose a considerable risk in the transmission of bacteria and viruses. While we rely on their use, we should find a feasible alternative to touch devices. Non-touch interaction, via the use of mid-air gestures, has been previously labelled as not user-friendly and unsuitable. However, previous works have extensively compared such interaction to precise mouse movements. In this paper, we investigate and compare the usability of an interface controlled via a touchscreen and a non-touch device. Participants (N = 22) using a touchscreen and the Leap Motion Controller, performed tasks on a mock-up ticketing machine, later evaluating their experience using the System Usability and Gesture Usability scales. Results show that, in contrast to the previous works, the non-touch method was usable and quickly learnable. We conclude with recommendations for future work on making a non-touch interface more user-friendly.

In Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2021.
Kieran Waugh
Kieran Waugh
PhD Student in Human-Computer Interaction

PhD Student at the University of Glasgow within the Glasgow Interactive Systems Section.