Learning on Multi-Touch Devices: The influence of the distance between information in pop-ups and the hands of the users


Prior research indicated that information processing is influenced by the proximity of the hands to information: visuospatial processing is fostered near the hands, whereas textual processing might not be affected or even inhibited near the hands. This study investigated how the proximity of the hands to digital information in pop-ups influences learning outcomes on multi-touch devices. Depending on the distance between the information in the pop-ups and the hands of the users there were three conditions: (1) all pop-ups opened near the hands, (2) all pop-ups opened far from the hands, and (3) pop-ups with visuospatial information opened near the hands, whereas pop-ups with textual information opened far from the hands (mixed condition). Results showed better learning outcomes when visuospatial pop-ups are presented near the hands, whereas there was no difference in learning outcomes between near and far presented textual pop-ups. Results and implications for multi-touch designs are discussed.

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