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2.5.1 Pointer Gestures (A)

Understanding 2.5.1 Pointer Gestures (A)

On mobile devices where you can use a touch - and need more than one finger or need to follow a path type gesture, functionality can still be operated using a single pointer.

NOTE: This is true unless multi point or path based gestures are essential.

Why is this a problem?

Some disabled users may need simple inputs or gestures to complete tasks and make selections. Complex movement or gestures requiring dexterity or accuracy may be hard for them.

What is a path-based gesture?

If an interaction is not just the end-to-end part but important but also the road or path taken. These gestures could be swiping, dragging items or drawing.

What is a multi-point gesture?

This can be zooming into content using a ‘pinch’ type motion with two fingers, a swipe with multiple fingers and so on.

Requirements / What to do?

Design your interface so controls and content can be used without these path or multi-point gestures.

Single point activation is like it sounds. This means ensuring that on a touchscreen or touchpad users will be able to do everything using only taps, double taps, and long presses.

For a mouse, trackpad, head-pointer, or similar device include single clicks, click-and-hold and double clicks.

Some examples are:

  • In a map where you can pinch gesture to zoom the zooming can be done via [+] and [-] buttons.
  • In a Carousel with a horizontal content slider, hidden content can be moved into the viewport with swiping or forward and backward arrow buttons to navigate instead.
  • Do not rely only on path-based gestures.
  • Do not rely only on multi-point gestures.

Common mistakes

  • Requiring complex gestures to do things.
  • Functionality can be operated by pointer input but not with single-point activation alone.