This weeks reading discusses various types of virtual enhancements for pointing facilitation. One idea discussed in the paper was to bring potential targets that need to be pointed at closer to the cursor. This would lessen the amount of time it takes to get a pointer to an icon. The issue with this idea is knowing what icons need to be moved to the cursor, as well as how many icons should move towards the cursor. Once too many items are moved, the cursor may become cluttered with unwanted icons. Another idea discussed in the paper was to create less distance between the icons. Creating less distance between the icons can be done by setting the icons next to one another. This creates a space with more purpose, lessening the amount of unused pixels between icons. The paper also discusses making the cursor larger. By enhancing the width of the cursor, the cursor can then be used as a tool for determining which icon a user would like to select. Lastly, the paper discusses expanding targets. When a user is on a newer model Macintosh, they can scroll over widgets and icons on the bottom of the page. Mac has given the option to make those icons at the bottom of the screen larger when they are being scrolled over. Thus, the widgets and icons expand their own width that may in some cases, lessen the distance between the icon and the cursor.
This paper contained lots of beneficial information for students in HCI. Understanding how icons and cursors are being manipulated to create an easier workflow is something that will affect anyone who uses a touch-screen interface or computer. Creating better sized icons, promoting more usable space, and creating smarter working cursors will all lead to a more efficient workflow within the Human Centered Interaction.
Balakrishnan, R. (2004). ‘‘beating’’ fitts’ law: virtual enhancements for pointing facilitation. Retrieved from http://is303.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/ijhcs2004_beatingfittslaw.pdf