Analysing Touchscreen Gestures: A Study Based on Individuals with Down Syndrome Centred on Design for All

Jorge Martin-Gutierrez, Marta Sylvia Del Rio Guerra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


There has been a conscious shift towards developing increasingly inclusive applications. However, despite this fact, most research has focused on supporting those with visual or hearing impairments and less attention has been paid to cognitive impairments. The purpose of this study is to analyse touch gestures used for touchscreens and identify which gestures are suitable for individuals living with Down syndrome (DS) or other forms of physical or cognitive impairments. With this information, app developers can satisfy Design for All (DfA) requirements by selecting adequate gestures from existing lists of gesture sets. Twenty touch gestures were defined for this study and a sample group containing eighteen individuals with Down syndrome was used. A tool was developed to measure the performance of touch gestures and participants were asked to perform simple tasks that involved the repeated use of these twenty gestures. Three variables are an-alysed to establish whether they influence the success rates or completion times of gestures, as they could have a collateral effect on the skill with which gestures are performed. These variables are Gender, Type of Down syndrome, and Socioeconomic Status. Analysis reveals that significant difference is present when a pairwise comparison is performed, meaning individuals with DS cannot perform all gestures with the same ease. The variables Gender and Socioeconomic Status do not influence success rates or completion times, but Type of DS does.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1328
Pages (from-to)1-34
Number of pages34
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the Down syndrome support centre Centro Integral Down, A.C. (, the Asociación down de Monterrey (, the DIF de Santa Catarina, and the Universidad de Monterrey for so generously agreeing to collaborate with us under the Educational and Social Inclusion Program (Programa de Inclusión Social y Educativa-PISYE).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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