Publication: Supporting Multi-Point Interaction in Visual Workspaces

Multi-point interaction tasks involve the manipulation of several mutually-dependent control points in a visual workspace – for example, adjusting a selection rectangle in a drawing application. Multi-point interactions place conflicting requirements on the interface: the system must display objects at sufficient scale for detailed manipulation, but it must also provide an efficient means of navigating from one control point to another. Current interfaces lack any explicit support for tasks that combine these two requirements, forcing users to carry out sequences of zoom and pan actions. In this paper, we describe three novel mechanisms for view control that explicitly support multipoint interactions with a single mouse, and preserve both visibility and scale for multiple regions of interest. We carried out a study to compare two of the designs against standard zoom and pan techniques, and found that task completion time was significantly reduced with the new approaches. The study shows the potential of interfaces that combine support for both scale and navigation.





Garth Shoemaker Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan


Shoemaker, G., Gutwin, C. 2007. Supporting Multi-Point Interaction in Visual Workspaces. In Proceedings of the 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2007), 999-1008.


@inproceedings {shoemaker,
author= {Garth Shoemaker and Carl Gutwin},
title= {Supporting Multi-Point Interaction in Visual Workspaces},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the 2007 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2007)},
year= {2007},
pages= {999-1008}