Don’t touch me! A comparison of usability on touch and non-touch inputs

Kieran Waugh, Judy Robertson

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


Public touchscreens are filthy and, regardless of how often they are cleaned, they pose a considerable risk in the transmission of bacteria and viruses. While we rely on their use, we should find a feasible alternative to touch devices. Non-touch interaction, via the use of mid-air gestures, has been previously labelled as not user friendly and unsuitable.However, previous works have extensively compared such interaction to precise mouse movements. In this paper, we investigate and compare the usability of an interface controlled via a touchscreen and a non-touch device. Participants (N=22) using a touchscreen and the Leap Motion Controller, performed tasks on a mock-up ticketing machine,later evaluating their experience using the System Usability and Gesture Usability scales. Results show that, in contrast to the previous works,the non-touch method was usable and quickly learnable. We conclude with recommendations for future work on making a non-touch interface more user-friendly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer-Interaction – INTERACT 2021
Subtitle of host publication18th IFIP TC 13 International Conference, Bari, Italy, August 30 – September 3, 2021, Proceedings, Part V
EditorsCarmelo Ardito, Rosa Lanzilotti, Alessio Malizia, Helen Petrie, Antonio Piccinno, Giuseppe Desolda, Kori Inkpen
ISBN (Electronic)9783030856076
ISBN (Print)9783030856069
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Aug 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


  • non-touch
  • gesture
  • touchless
  • Leap Motion Controller


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