The Design and Evaluation of a Flick Gesture for 'Back' and 'Forward' in Web Browsers

Moyle, M. and Cockburn, A.

    Web navigation relies heavily on the use of the 'back' button to traverse pages. The traditional back button suffers from the distance and targeting issues that govern Fitts' Law. An alternative to the button approach is the use of marking menus a gesture based technique shown to improve access times of commonly repeated tasks. This paper describes the implementation and evaluation of a gesture-based mechanism for issuing the back and forward commands in web navigation. Results show that subjects were able to navigate significantly faster when using gestures compared to the normal back button. Furthermore, the subjects were extremely enthusiastic about the technique, with many expressing their wish that 'all browsers should support this'. Subjective measures also showed significantly higher ratings for the gesture system over the back button. Finally, subjects found the 'flick' gesture easy to learn.
Cite as: Moyle, M. and Cockburn, A. (2003). The Design and Evaluation of a Flick Gesture for 'Back' and 'Forward' in Web Browsers. In Proc. Fourth Australasian User Interface Conference (AUIC2003), Adelaide, Australia. CRPIT, 18. Biddle, R. and Thomas, B., Eds. ACS. 39-46.
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