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Jan 17, 2019 Article
Comparison of mouse and multi-touch for protein structure manipulation in a citizen science game interface

by Thomas Muender, Sadaab Ali Gulani, Lauren Westendorf, Clarissa Verish, Rainer Malaka, Orit Shaer and Seth Cooper

We developed a multi-touch interface for the citizen science video game Foldit, in which players manipulate 3D protein structures, and compared multi-touch and mouse interfaces in a 41-subject user study. We found that participants performed similarly in both interfaces and did not have an overall preference for either interface. However, results indicate that for tasks involving guided movement to dock protein parts, subjects using the multi-touch interface completed tasks more accurately with fewer moves, and reported higher attention and spatial presence. For tasks involving direct selection and dragging of points, subjects using the mouse interface performed fewer camera adjustments.

Volume 18 • Issue 01 • 2019 • Special Issue: User Experience of Digital Technologies in Citizen Science, 2019