Memorability of pre-designed and user-defined gesture sets

Miguel Nacenta, Yemliha Kamber, Yizhou Qiang, Per Ola Kristensson

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

109 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the memorability of free-form gesture sets for invoking actions. We compared three types of gesture sets: user-defined gesture sets, gesture sets designed by the authors, and random gesture sets in three studies with 33 participants in total. We found that user-defined gestures are easier to remember, both immediately after creation and on the next day (up to a 24% difference in recall rate compared to pre-designed gestures). We also discovered that the differences between gesture sets are mostly due to association errors (rather than gesture form errors), that participants prefer user-defined sets, and that they think user-defined gestures take less time to learn. Finally, we contribute a qualitative analysis of the tradeoffs involved in gesture type selection and share our data and a video corpus of 66 gestures
for replicability and further analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2013)
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450318990
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2013
EventACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Paris, France
Duration: 27 Apr 20132 May 2013


ConferenceACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems


  • Gesture sets
  • Gesture memorability
  • User-defined gestures
  • Gesture-based interfaces


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