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 ONE HANDED INTERACTIONS ON LARGE SCREEN MOBILE PHONES

Smartphones are becoming larger with introduction to big-screen devices in commercial arena. One of the major drawback of large-screen devices is difficulty in operating the phones with one hand. Interacting to phones with one hand is often practiced in variety of context - e.g. while traveling on trains, busses, carrying shopping carts, holding baby and many more. Moreover, they are practiced among people with different hand-deformities.

We designed and prototyped "easy access" - a series of interventions supporting one-handed interactions on large-screen smartphones.

Easy Access - allowing easy-to-use one-handed large screen smartphone interactions
"Easy Access" allows users to interact with large screen smartphones through one hand (both right & left hand) through series of easily accessible functions - easy gesture & GUI enabled application trigger, easy reachability of core functionalities of any applications, enabling multiple gestures by simply using a thumb and many more. It enables on-handed interactions for native as well as thrid party applications. Following video showcases the detail use cases and features of Easy Access.

Other explorations on one-handed interactions for large-screen smartphones

People with one hand, deformed hand and limited movement of hands often have problems to access full screen of large screen smart phones, especially when the navigation panel is presented at top or extreme corners of the device. This limits users to access many important features of applications. Such problems are also experienced while traveling in crowded busses, trains and crowded places. Users have situational accessibility - where users in specific situation have limited access to their full abilities (despite having complete physical and mental abilities). e.g. able to use only one hand effectively in a crowded bus, where other hands are stuck in crowd or busy carrying bags.

We have explored few methods to support users who experience these problems. Following are some explorations primarily to help differently abled users to use unaccessed locations with ease and effeciency.


This is an illustration of accessing features (placed on top of the screen) for a left-handed user. The single image view screen has icons in the action bar that are unreachable by the thumb in single-handed usage. On the bottom left of the screen is the proposed Easy Access floating button. As the user taps on the floating button, Easy Access gets activated. The action bar slides down to the lower half of the screen and is comfortably reachable by the thumb. The icons are now present on the left end of the bar for easy access for a left-handed user. While the Easy Access state is active, the background becomes non clickable. As user completes his desired action, he taps on the floating button again and the icons slide back to their original position and Easy Access becomes inactive

This is an example of a typical single image view screen in picture gallery. The screen has icons in the action bar that are unreachable by the thumb in single-handed usage. On the bottom right of the screen is the proposed Easy Access floating button. As the user taps on the floating button, Easy Access gets activated. The action bar slides down to the lower half of the screen and is comfortably reachable by the thumb. While the Easy Access state is active, the background becomes non clickable. As user completes his desired action, he taps on the floating button again and the icons slide back to their original position and Easy Access becomes inactive


The user presses on the action bar and drags it vertically on the screen to manually place it in a position comfortable for her access. The user can place it at any position. This is a one-time action. As the user taps the easy access button the next time, the action bar automatically locates itself at the user customized position. The user can change this position by pressing on the action bar and dragging it vertically.

In collaboration with
Team members: Shimmila Bhowmick, Vrushin Goswami, Sumit Arora, Rohan Vijay, Samadrita Das, Meenal Mandil and Keyur Sorathia