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Understanding grip shifts: how form factors impact hand movements on mobile phones

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

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Pages
Publisher or commissioning bodyAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346559
DateAccepted/In press - 14 Dec 2016
DatePublished (current) - 2 May 2017


In this paper we present an investigation into how hand usage is affected by different mobile phone form factors. Our initial (qualitative) study explored how users interact with various mobile phone types (touchscreen, physical keyboard and stylus). The analysis of the videos revealed that each type of mobile phone affords specific handgrips and that the user shifts these grips and consequently the tilt and rotation of the phone depending on the context of interaction. In order to further investigate the tilt and rotation effects we conducted a controlled quantitative study in which we varied the size of the phone and the type of grips (Symmetric bimanual, Asymmetric bimanual with finger, Asymmetric bimanual with thumb and Single handed) to better understand how they affect the tilt and rotation during a dual pointing task. The results showed that the size of the phone does have a consequence and that the distance needed to reach action items affects the phones' tilt and rotation. Additionally, we found that the amount of tilt, rotation and reach required corresponded with the participant's grip preference. We finish the paper by discussing the design lessons for mobile UI and proposing design guidelines and applications for these insights.

    Research areas

  • Handgrip, Mobile devices, Grasp, Design, Interaction, H.5.2 user interfaces, Input devices and strategies

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via ACM at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 823 KB, PDF document


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