“I Didn’t Know, You Could Do That” - Affordance Signifiers for Touch Gestures on Mobile Devices

  • Emilie Lind Damkjær
  • Liv Arleth
  • Hendrik KnocheEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 265)


As smartphones have become widely available at low prices, interface designers need to improve accessibility of mobile applications for e.g. illiterate users. We evaluated how effectively and efficiently different signifiers communicated the affordances of dragging and double tapping touch gestures in a text editor environment. We found that spatially represented signifiers for dragging (drag handles and drop shadow) communicated the affordance better than temporal signifiers for double tapping. The latter appeared only for a limited amount of time in the user interface and were less effective and efficient than even a control condition that provided no additional information.


Touch interactions Gesture signifiers Affordance 


  1. 1.
    Friscira, E., Knoche, H., Huang, J.: Getting in touch with text: designing a mobile phone application for illiterate users to harness SMS. In: Proceedings of the 2nd ACM Symposium on Computing for Development, p. 5. ACM (2012)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Huenerfauth, M.: Developing design recommendations for computer interfaces accessible to illiterate users. Master’s thesis, University College Dublin (2002)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Knoche, H., Rao, P.S., Jamadagni, H.S., Huang, J.: Actions and advice in coli: a mobile social network to support agricultural peer learning. In: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services Adjunct, pp. 1191–1198. ACM (2015)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Knoche, H., Huang, J.: Text is not the enemy - how illiterates use their mobile phones. In: NUIs for New Worlds: New Interaction Forms and Interfaces for Mobile Applications in Developing Countries - CHI 2012 Workshop, Austin (2012)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mesfin, W., Grønli, T.M., Ghinea, G., Younas, M.: A mobile money solution for illiterate users. In: 2015 IEEE International Conference on Mobile Services (MS), pp. 328–335. IEEE (2015)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Norman, D.: The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition. Constellation (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

Personalised recommendations