Crossing-based interface

Crossing-based interfaces are graphical user interfaces that use crossing gestures instead of, or in complement to, pointing.


Goal-crossing tasks

A pointing task involves moving a cursor inside a graphical object and pressing a button, whereas a goal-crossing task involves moving a cursor beyond a boundary of a targeted graphical object.

Goal crossing has been little investigated, despite sometimes being used on today's interfaces (e.g., mouse-over effects, hierarchical menus navigation, auto-retractable taskbars and hot corners). Still, several advantages of crossing over pointing have been identified:

  • Elongated objects such as hyperlinks are faster to cross than to point.
  • Several objects can be crossed at the same time within the same gesture.
  • Crossing allows triggering actions when buttons are not available (e.g., while an object is being dragged).
  • Crossing-based widgets can be designed to be more compact than pointing-based ones. This may be useful for small display devices.
  • Goal crossing is particularly natural on stylus-based devices. On these devices, crossing an object back and forth is easier than double-clicking.
  • Crossing can be a good alternative for users who have difficulties with clicking or double-clicking.

There are several other ways of triggering actions in user interfaces, either graphic (gestures) and non-graphic (keyboard shortcuts, speech commands).

Laws of crossing

Variants of Fitts' law have been described for goal-crossing tasks (Accot and Zhai 2002). Fitts' law is seen as a Law of pointing, describing variability in the direction of the pointer's movement. The Law of crossing describes the allowed variability in the direction perpendicular to movement, and the steering law describes movement along a tunnel.


  • Original work
    • Accot, J. and Zhai, S. (2002). More than dotting the i's - foundations for crossing-based interfaces, in Proc. of CHI'2002: ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 2002. pp 73-80.
  • Selected subsequent work
    • Apitz, G. and Guimbretière F. (2004). CrossY: a crossing-based drawing application. In Proceedings of the 17th Annual ACM Symposium on User interface Software and Technology (Santa Fe, NM, USA, October 24 - 27, 2004). UIST '04. ACM Press, New York, NY, 3-12.
    • Dragicevic, P. (2004). Combining crossing-based and paper-based interaction paradigms for dragging and dropping between overlapping windows. In Proceedings of the 17th Annual ACM Symposium on User interface Software and Technology (Santa Fe, NM, USA, October 24 - 27, 2004). UIST '04. ACM Press, New York, NY, 193-196.

See also

  • Fitts Law — A principle of human movement which predicts the time required to move from a starting position to a final target area.
  • Accot-Zhai steering law — An extension of Fitt's law to steering tasks.
  • Interaction technique
  • Pie menu

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • User interface — The user interface, in the industrial design field of human–machine interaction, is the space where interaction between humans and machines occurs. The goal of interaction between a human and a machine at the user interface is effective operation …   Wikipedia

  • Communications-based train control — CBTC deployment in Metro de Madrid, Spain …   Wikipedia

  • Aqua (user interface) — Aqua is the graphical user interface and primary visual theme of Apple Inc. s Mac OS X operating system. It is based around the theme of water, as its name suggests,The word aqua is Latin for water.] with droplet like elements and liberal use of… …   Wikipedia

  • Pie menu — A pie menu. In computer interface design, a pie menu (also known as a radial menu) is a circular context menu where selection depends on direction. A pie menu is made of several pie slices around an inactive center and works best with stylus… …   Wikipedia

  • Steering law — The steering law is a predictive model of how quickly one may navigate, or steer , through a 2 dimensional tunnel. The tunnel can be thought of as a path or trajectory on a plane that has an associated thickness or width, where the width can vary …   Wikipedia

  • Fitts's law — In human computer interaction and ergonomics, Fitts s law (often cited as Fitts law) is a model of human movement which predicts the time required to rapidly move to a target area, as a function of the distance to the target and the size of the… …   Wikipedia

  • List of human-computer interaction topics — This is a list of topics in human computer interaction. General * accessibility and Computer accessibility * adaptive autonomy * affordance * banner blindness * contextual design and contextual inquiry * gender HCI * gulf of execution *… …   Wikipedia

  • Alter Aeon — Developer(s) Dentinmud Internet Services/Dennis Towne, project community Engine DentinMud Platform(s) Platform independent …   Wikipedia

  • Diversity University — Developer(s) Jeanne McWhorter, project community Engine MOO Platform(s) Platform independent …   Wikipedia

  • Computers and Information Systems — ▪ 2009 Introduction Smartphone: The New Computer.       The market for the smartphone in reality a handheld computer for Web browsing, e mail, music, and video that was integrated with a cellular telephone continued to grow in 2008. According to… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.