Optimal Touchscreen Button Size and Button Spacing for Next Generation Fighter Aircrafts

Coskun A., Çetin Y. T., Fal M., Zaferoğlu E.

Thematic area Human Interface and the Management of Information, HIMI 2022 Part of the 24th HCI International Conference, HCII 2022, Virtual, Online, 26 June - 01 July 2022, vol.13306 LNCS, pp.330-342 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 13306 LNCS
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/978-3-031-06509-5_23
  • City: Virtual, Online
  • Page Numbers: pp.330-342
  • Keywords: Button size, Button spacing, Touchscreen
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.The popularity of integrating touchscreen technology into next-generation fighter aircraft’s flight decks has increased recently. Therefore, the touch button size and button spacing have gained importance in human factors. In this way, the current study aimed to investigate the optimal button size and button spacing for next-generation fighter aircraft’s touchscreen. In accordance with that purpose, fourteen participants consisting of flight test engineers and pilots performed experimental tasks in a flight simulator on the six different keyboard designs consisting of three different sized buttons (12.7 mm, 15.87 mm & 19.05 mm) and two different sized spacing (1.65 mm & 2.54 mm). Dependent variables consisted of task completion time, total errors, subjective workload scale scores, and user preference. A button size of 12.7 mm and a button spacing of 2.54 mm are optimal when considered task completion time and workload. No significant difference was found in terms of total error. Participants mostly favored a button size of 15.87 mm. Optimal button size and button spacing can be affected by the factors such as maneuvering and pilot equipment (e.g., gloves). Hence, it is recommended that human factors researchers replicate this study by manipulating these factors, especially in simulator settings with jet fighter pilots.