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A Comparison of One-Handed and Two-Handed Direct and Indirect ComputerInteraction
Authors: Barnert, William C.
Date:May 2005
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This study compares the differences in efficiency, productivity and user preferences of different computer interaction techniques, independently varying the number of hands used and whether the interaction was direct or indirect. In this way, we will see (A) how bimanual interaction compares with unimanual interaction, (B) how direct interaction compares with indirect interaction, and (C), if there is a clear advantage to one technique over the other in both (A) and (B), whether the advantages in each category can be combined. We find that indirect interaction techniques outperform direct interaction techniques. Interestingly, we find that within indirect techniques, bimanual outperforms unimanual, but within direct techniques, unimanual outperforms bimanual. The use of a second hand enhances performance and enjoyment using indirect techniques, but diminishes both using direct. We show that with even minimal familiarity with a bimanual indirect interaction technique, performance with it increases further, and it is more likely to be selected subjectively as the favorite method. We argue that if bimanual indirect methods were made readily available, they would be embraced by most computer users after a very short learning curve.

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