WorldCIST'13 -The 2013 World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies

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Age Differences in Computer Input Device Use: A Comparison of Touchscreen, Trackball, and Mouse

Calvin Or
Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering, The University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Da Tao
Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering, The University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Ho-cheun Ng
Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering, The University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Abstract:
This study examined age-related differences in user performance and preference with three widely used computer input devices (i.e., mouse, touch screen, and trackball) among older, middle-aged, and young adults. Sixty-six participants were recruited and equally split into the three age groups. The results showed that age and input device had significant effect on task completion time and error rate. There were significant age-related performance differences in task completion time among the input devices. Ratings of users’ preference indicated that the older adults preferred trackball to the mouse and touch screen. Our findings suggest that the touch screen could moderate only part of the age-related performance differences and confer limited benefits to older adults. More research efforts are required to examine user characteristics, user perception on the use of the devices, and task requirements before we can determine the benefits of an input device for users in different ages.

 

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