A Process for Anticipating and Executing Icon Selection in Graphical User Interfaces Academic Article uri icon


  • This article presents a system for predicting the icon a user will select from an icon toolbar, based on command use frequency and mouse trajectory. The system differs from previous systems in 2 important ways: First, the prediction system does not initiate any action. Instead, it predicts where the mouse is moving and subtly "suggests" a command for the user to verify. Second, the system takes into account the relative likelihood of commands being used when making its predictions. Initial testing suggested that a system that only predicted the most frequently used icon choices was better than one that predicted all choices. A study with 12 test users using a mouse and 10 using a trackpad found substantial benefits of this "limited prediction system." The system resulted in a mean reduction in time to issue a command of 41% for trackpad users and 25% for mouse users. Trackpad users, but not mouse users, preferred the prediction system to the traditional way of pointing. These results suggest that a prediction system such as the one described here has the potential to reduce the time and effort required to issue commands. The utility of the system appears to be especially great in laptops and other devices that use trackpads as their primary pointing devices. Copyright © 2005, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Lane, D. M., Peres, S. C., Sandor, A., & Napier, H. A.

citation count

  • 21

publication date

  • November 2005