Gestures in the wild: studying multi-touch gesture sequences on interactive tabletop exhibits

Uta Hinrichs, Sheelagh Carpendale

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

134 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper we describe our findings from a field study that was conducted at the Vancouver Aquarium to investigate how visitors interact with a large interactive table exhibit using multi-touch gestures. Our findings show that the choice and use of multi-touch gestures are influenced not only by general preferences for certain gestures but also by the interaction context and social context they occur in. We found that gestures are not executed in isolation but linked into sequences where previous gestures influence the formation of subsequent gestures. Furthermore, gestures were used beyond the manipulation of media items to support social encounters around the tabletop exhibit. Our findings indicate the importance of versatile many-to-one mappings between gestures and their actions that, other than one-to-one mappings, can support fluid transitions between gestures as part of sequences and facilitate social information exploration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI'11Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-0228-9
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2011
EventCHI 2011 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 May 201112 May 2011


ConferenceCHI 2011 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Direct-touch interaction
  • Multi-touch gestures
  • Tabletop displays
  • Public displays
  • Field study

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