Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 267–278 | Cite as

Thumb touch control range and usability factors of virtual keys for smartphone games

  • Hsinfu HuangEmail author
  • Ta-chun Huang
Original Paper


To explore the human–machine interaction and working efficiency of smartphone games, this study surveyed the relationship between the virtual keys in smartphone games and the controllable operating range of both thumbs, using a mobile fighting game as the experimental stimulus. This study analyzed users’ preference for virtual keys to characterize smartphone gaming interactions that employed both thumbs. For all subjects, operating characteristics and the placement distribution of both thumbs were recorded. In addition, their operating preferences were evaluated using principal component factor analysis. The 10 element dimensions were reduced to 4 factors: key feedback degree, key usability, relative key position, and relative key size. The study results provide a reference for human–computer interface designers and contribute to the literature on games.


Smartphone game Virtual keys Thumb touch control range Human–computer interface (HCI) 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial DesignNational Yunlin University of Science and TechnologyDouliouTaiwan, ROC

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