Young vs old - landscape vs portrait: a comparative study of touch gesture performance

Linda Wulf, Markus Garschall, Michael Klein, Manfred Tscheligi

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to gain deeper insights into performance differences of younger and older users when performing touch gestures, as well as the influence of tablet device orientation (portrait vs landscape). Design/methodology/approach - The authors performed a comparative study involving 20 younger (25-45 years) and 20 older participants (65-85 years). Each participant executed six gestures with each device orientation. Age was set as a between-subject factor. The dependent variables were task completion time and error rates (missed target rate and finger lift rate). To measure various performance characteristics, the authors implemented an application for the iPad that logged completion time and error rates of the participants when performing six gestural tasks - tap, drag, pinch, pinch-pan, rotate left and rotate right - for both device orientations. Findings - The results show a significant effect of age on completion time and error rates. Means reveal faster completion times and lower error rates for younger users than for older users. In addition, a significant effect of device orientation on error rates could be stated. Means show higher error rates for Portrait orientation than for landscape orientation. Qualitative results reveal a clear reference for landscape orientation in both age groups and a lower acceptance of rotation gestures among older participants. Originality/value - In this study the authors were able to show the importance of device orientation as an influencing factor on touch interaction performance, indicating that age is not the exclusive influencing factor.
Seiten (von - bis)136-146
FachzeitschriftJournal of Assistive Technologies
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2015

Research Field

  • Ehemaliges Research Field - Technology Experience


  • Human computer interaction
  • Age-related differences
  • Device orientation
  • Interaction design
  • Touch gestures
  • Touch interaction


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