Proceedings: GI 2005

When it gets more difficult, use both hands: exploring bimanual curve manipulation

Russell Owen, Gordon Kurtenbach, George Fitzmaurice, Thomas Baudel, Bill Buxton

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2005: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 9 - 11 May 2005, 17-24

  • BibTex

    author = {Owen, Russell and Kurtenbach, Gordon and Fitzmaurice, George and Baudel, Thomas and Buxton, Bill},
    title = {When it gets more difficult, use both hands: exploring bimanual curve manipulation},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2005},
    series = {GI 2005},
    year = {2005},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {1-56881-265-5},
    location = {Victoria, British Columbia, Canada},
    pages = {17--24},
    numpages = {8},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada},


In this paper we investigate the relationship between bimanual (two-handed) manipulation and the cognitive aspects of task integration, divided attention and epistemic action. We explore these relationships by means of an empirical study comparing a bimanual technique versus a unimanual (one-handed) technique for a curve matching task. The bimanual technique was designed on the principle of integrating the visual, conceptual and input device space domain of both hands. We provide evidence that the bimanual technique has better performance than the unimanual technique and, as the task becomes more cognitively demanding, the bimanual technique exhibits even greater performance benefits. We argue that the design principles and performance improvements are applicable to other task domains.