Proceedings: GI 2004

Object pointing: a complement to bitmap pointing in GUIs

Yves Guiard , Renaud Blanch , Michel Beaudouin-Lafon

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2004: London, Ontario, Canada, 17 - 19 May 2004, 9-16

DOI 10.20380/GI2004.02

  • Bibtex

    author = {Guiard, Yves and Blanch, Renaud and Beaudouin-Lafon, Michel},
    title = {Object pointing: a complement to bitmap pointing in GUIs},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2004},
    series = {GI 2004},
    year = {2004},
    issn = {0-89791-213-6},
    isbn = {1-56881-227-2},
    location = {London, Ontario, Canada},
    pages = {9--16},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2004.02},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada},
    keywords = {Input},


Pointing has been conceptualized and implemented so far as the act of selecting pixels in bitmap displays. We show that the current technique, which we call bitmap pointing (BMP), is often sub-optimal as it requires continuous information from the mouse while the system often just needs the discrete specification of objects. The paper introduces object pointing (OP), a novel interaction technique based on a special screen cursor that skips empty spaces, thus drastically reducing the waste of input information. We report data from 1D and 2D Fitts' law experiments showing that OP outperforms BMP and that the performance facilitation increases with the task's index of difficulty. We discuss the implementation of OP in current interfaces.