Investigating Smartphone Touch Area with One-Handed Interaction: Effects of Target Distance and Direction on Touch Behaviors

Seul Chan Lee, Min Chul Cha, Yong Gu Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to investigate the touch area that can be comfortably reached by the thumb during one-handed smartphone interaction. To achieve the research objective, we introduced the concept of natural thumb position when designing a tapping task and conducted an user experiment. The independent variables were the target distance and direction from the natural thumb position, and the three dependent variables were the task performance, information throughput, and touch accuracy. The results showed that participants performed the task comfortably in the diagonal direction between the upper right and the lower left side of the screen. The task performance deteriorated as the target distance increased, especially at 45 mm or more. The touch accuracy was measured using X- and Y-coordinates data. Participants touched the left side of the target center, except near the proximal area of the hand. They also touched the points above the center of the target in the upper screen area and points below the center of the target in the lower screen area. The findings of this study provided insights for designing a smartphone touch interface considering the comfortable touch areas of one-handed interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1532-1543
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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