FingerArc and FingerChord: Supporting Novice to Expert Transitions with Guided Finger-Aware Shortcuts

Blaine Lewis
Jeff Avery
Daniel Vogel
The 31st Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, ACM, New York, NY(2018), pp. 347-363


Keyboard shortcuts can be more efficient than graphical input, but they are underused by most users. To alleviate this, we present "Guided Finger-Aware Shortcuts" to reduce the gulf between graphical input and shortcut activation. The interaction technique works by recognising when a special hand posture is used to press a key, then allowing secondary finger movements to select among related shortcuts if desired. Novice users can learn the mappings through dynamic visual guidance revealed by holding a key down, but experts can trigger shortcuts directly without pausing. Two variations are described: FingerArc uses the angle of the thumb, and FingerChord uses a second key press. The techniques are motivated by an interview study identifying factors hindering the learning, use, and exploration of keyboard shortcuts. A controlled comparison with conventional keyboard shortcuts shows the techniques encourage overall shortcut usage, make interaction faster, less error-prone, and provide advantages over simply adding visual guidance to standard shortcuts.