A submovement analysis of cursor trajectories

Faustina Hwang, Simeon Keates, Patrick Langdon, P. John Clarkson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding human movement is key to improving input devices and interaction techniques. This paper presents a study of mouse movements of motion-impaired users, with an aim to gaining a better understanding of impaired movement. The cursor trajectories of six motion-impaired users and three able-bodied users are studied according to their submovement structure. Performance measures based on submovement structure are described, including the frequency and duration of pauses between submovements, verification times, the number of submovements, the peak speed of submovements and the accuracy of submovements in two dimensions. The measures are shown to be sensitive to differences between users with dissimilar physical capabilities. Results include findings that some motion-impaired users pause more often and for longer than able-bodied users, require up to five times more submovements to complete the same task, and exhibit a greater decline in accuracy with increasing speed than able-bodied users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-217
Number of pages13
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Motion-impaired
  • Disability
  • Computer access
  • Cursor control
  • Pointing device
  • Computer mouse
  • Movement trajectories
  • Performance measurement
  • Submovement
  • Microstructure


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