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Slow and steady wins the race? Three-year-old children and pointing device use

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While adult performance with different pointing devices has received extensive study in the human-computer interaction literature, there is little data on the performance of young children using any input devices at all. In the present study, 64 three-year-old children used a joystick, mouse, or trackball to perform a simple cursor placement task. Two substantive results were obtained. First, trackball users were the slowest, but also the most accurate in their cursor control. Second, characteristics of the children's performance suggest that adult standards for an optimal interface, which stress speed and efficiency, may not be appropriate when children are the intended users.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1996-01-01

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