Modelling error rates in temporal pointing

Byungjoo Lee, Antti Oulasvirta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

46 Citations (Scopus)


We present a novel model to predict error rates in temporal pointing. With temporal pointing, a target is about to appear within a limited time window for selection. Unlike in spatial pointing, there is no movement to control in the temporal domain; the user can only determine when to launch the response. Although this task is common in interactions requiring temporal precision, rhythm, or synchrony, no previous HCI model predicts error rates as a function of task properties. Our model assumes that users have an implicit point of aim but their ability to elicit the input event at that time is hampered by variability in three processes: 1) an internal time-keeping process, 2) a response-execution stage, and 3) input processing in the computer. We derive a mathematical model with two parameters from these assumptions. High fit is shown for user performance with two task types, including a rapidly paced game. The model can explain previous findings showing that touchscreens are much worse in temporal pointing than physical input devices. It also has novel implications for design that extend beyond the conventional wisdom of minimising latency.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2016 - Proceedings, 34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450333627
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 7
Event34th Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016 - San Jose, United States
Duration: 2016 May 72016 May 12

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference34th Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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