Past research has focused on children's interaction with computers through mouse clicks, and mouse research studies focused on point-and-click and drag-and-drop. However, More research is necessary in regard to children's ability to perform touch gestures such as point-and-touch, drag-and-drop, zoom-in and zoom-out, and rotate. Furthermore, research should consider specific gestures such as zoom-in and zoom-out, and rotate tasks for young children. The aim of this thesis is to study the ability of 4 and 5 year-old children to interact with touch devices and perform tasks such as: point-and-touch, drag-and-drop, zoom-in and zoom-out, and rotate. This thesis tests an iPad application with four experiments on 17 four and five-year-old children, 16 without motor impairment and 1 with a motor impairment disability. The results show that 5-year-old children perform better than 4-year-old children in the four experiments. Results indicate that interaction design for young children that uses Point-and-Touch gestures should consider distance between targets, and designs using Drag-and-Drop gestures should consider size of targets, as these have significant effects in the way children perform these gestures. Also, designers should consider size and rotation direction in rotate tasks, as it is smoother for young children to rotate clockwise objects. The result of the four different touch gestures tasks shows that time was not an important factor in children's performance.


Guarionex Salivia

Committee Member

Christophe Veltsos

Committee Member

Kathy Bertsch

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Computer Information Science


Science, Engineering and Technology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License