Use the Force Picker, Luke: Space-Efficient Value Input on Force-Sensitive Mobile Touchscreens

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Christian Corsten, Simon Voelker, Andreas Link, and Jan Borchers
In Proceedings of CHI '18, ACM, 661:1 - 661:12

Picking values from long ordered lists, such as when setting a date or time, is a common task on smartphones. However, the system pickers and tables used for this require significant screen space for spinning and dragging, covering other information or pushing it off-screen. The Force Picker reduces this footprint by letting users increase and decrease values over a wide range using force touch for rate-based control. However, changing input direction this way is difficult. We propose three techniques to address this. With our best candidate, Thumb-Roll, the Force Picker lets untrained users achieve similar accuracy as a standard picker, albeit less quickly. Shrinking it to a single table row, 20% of the iOS picker height, slightly affects completion time, but not accuracy. Intriguingly, after 70 minutes of training, users were significantly faster with this minimized Thumb-Roll Picker compared to the standard picker, at the same accuracy and only 6% of the gesture footprint. We close with application examples.