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Type: Journal article
Title: Constrained path tracking at varying angles in a mouse tracking task
Author: Thibbotuwawa, N.
Goonetilleke, R.
Hoffmann, E.
Citation: Human Factors, 2012; 54(1):138-150
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 0018-7208
Statement of
Namal Thibbotuwawa, Ravindra S. Goonetilleke and Errol R. Hoffmann
Abstract: Objective: This study was aimed to determine the effects of direction and path length on movement time when traversing a constrained path of width, W, in a mouse tracking task. Background: Tracking within constrained paths has been demonstrated to hold in many applications. Movement time and velocity of movement have shown very similar relationships, possibly because of the lack of extreme testing conditions. Most previous research evaluated conditions with only constant path length (A) of movement. Method: A total of 15 participants performed a mouse steering task within a constrained path at various angles. The independent variables were track width (W), path length, and path angle. Movement time was the dependent variable. Results: Analyses showed a significant effect of movement direction on movement time, and the relationship was approximately sinusoidal and symmetrical about the horizontal axis. Path length had a significant effect on speed of movement, which was not that apparent on movement time. At low A/W values, movements appeared to be ballistic. Conclusion: Tracking within constrained paths can be modeled to account for the effect of path angle. Application: Vertical hand movements, especially within constrained paths, may not be ideal from a performance and biomechanical standpoint. The performance curve gradients are a good way to evaluate and standardize the testing of input devices and to define acceptable speeds for various tolerances in computer and industrial tasks that involve angular motions. The results of this experiment will help designers to optimize products and training programs.
Keywords: Constrained tracking; Drury’s law; tracking; angular tracking; hand movements; ballistic movement
Rights: Copyright © 2012, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
RMID: 0030075206
DOI: 10.1177/0018720811424743
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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