Proceedings: GI 2008

A model of non-preferred hand mode switching

Jaime Ruiz , Andrea Bunt , Edward Lank

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2008: Windsor, Ontario, Canada, 28 - 30 May 2008, 49-56

DOI 10.20380/GI2008.07

  • Bibtex

    author = {Ruiz, Jaime and Bunt, Andrea and Lank, Edward},
    title = {A model of non-preferred hand mode switching},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2008},
    series = {GI 2008},
    year = {2008},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-56881-423-0},
    location = {Windsor, Ontario, Canada},
    pages = {49--56},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2008.07},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},


Effective mode-switching techniques provide users of tablet interfaces with access to a rich set of behaviors. While many researchers have studied the relative performance of mode-switching techniques in these interfaces, these metrics tell us little about the behavior of one technique in the absence of a competitor. Differing from past comparison-based research, this paper describes a temporal model of the behavior of a common mode switching technique, non-preferred hand mode switching. Using the Hick-Hyman Law, we claim that the asymptotic cost of adding additional non-preferred hand modes to an interface is a logarithmic function of the number of modes. We validate the model experimentally, and show a strong correlation between experimental data and values predicted by the model. Implications of this research for the design of mode-based interfaces are highlighted.