Composite line designs and accuracy measurements for tactile line tracing on touch surfaces

Edwin Chau, Jiakun Yu, Cagatay Goncu, Anusha Withana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Eyes-free operation of mobile devices is critical in situations where the visual channel is either unavailable or attention is needed elsewhere. In such situations, vibrotactile tracing along paths or lines can help users to navigate and identify symbols and shapes without visual information. In this paper, we investigated the applicability of different metrics that can measure the effectiveness of vibrotactile line tracing methods on touch screens. In two user studies, we compare trace Length Error, Area Error, and Fréchet Distance as alternatives to commonly used trace Time. Our results show that a lower Fréchet distance is correlated better with the comprehension of a line trace. Furthermore, we show that distinct feedback methods perform differently with varying geometric features in lines and propose a segmented line design for tactile line tracing studies. We believe the results will inform future designs of eyes-free operation techniques and studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3488536
Number of pages17
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberISS
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • haptics
  • metrics
  • tactile line tracing
  • touch screens

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