FlexView: An Evaluation of Depth Navigation on Deformable Mobile Devices
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Mobile devices are frequently used to view rich content while on the go. However, they have a tradeoff between increased screen size and portability; mobile devices, by definition, are constrained to a fraction of a desktop computer’s display area. This constraint means a user has to frequently navigate to content that lies outside the display. We present FlexView, a prototype system and set of interaction techniques, which allows users to navigate through depth-arranged large information spaces using display curvature as an additional input channel. FlexView augments the planar (X-Y) navigation currently performed by touch input with two forms of bend input to navigate through depth (Z). With leafing, the user holds one side of display and bends the opposite side. Squeezing involves gripping the display in one hand and applying pressure on both sides to create concave or convex curvatures, and supports concurrent interaction with touch input. We performed two evaluations to investigate the performance of FlexView’s interaction techniques. In Experiment 1, we measured the efficiency of participants when searching through pages of a document, and compared touch input to squeezing and leafing used in isolation. Experiment 2 introduced X-Y navigation in a pan-and-zoom pointing task where multi-touch pinch gestures were compared against squeezing and leafing for zoom operations. Panning, across all conditions, was performed with touch input using the index finger. Our experiments demonstrated that touch and bend interactions are comparable for navigation through depth-arranged content, and squeezing to zoom recorded the fastest times in the pan-and-zoom pointing task. Overall, FlexView allows users to easily browse depth-arranged information spaces without sacrificing traditional touch interactions.