SlideBar: Analysis of a linear input device
The SlideBar is a physical linear input device for absolute position control of 1° of freedom, consisting of a physical slider with a graspable knob positioned near or attached to the keyboard. Its range of motion is directly mapped to a one dimensional input widget such as a scrollbar. The SlideBar provides absolute position control in one dimension, is usable in the non-dominant hand in conjunction with a pointing device, and offers constrained passive haptic feedback. These characteristics make the device appropriate for the common class of tasks characterized by one-dimensional input and constrained range of operation. An empirical study of three devices (SlideBar, mouse controlled scrollbar, and mousewheel) shows that for common scrolling tasks, the SlideBar has a significant advantage over a standard mouse controlled scrollbar in user preference. In addition, users tended to prefer it over the mousewheel (without statistical significance).