Aiming and clicking in young children's use of the computer mouse

A. Donker, P. Reitsma

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The present study investigated the abilities of young children to aim and click with a computer mouse. Young children have not yet fully developed their motor skills and they are therefore more likely than adults to click next to targets on the computer screen. Because in educational software incorrect clicks could result in incorrect answers, children may initiate a laborious aiming process that increases the risk of repetitive strain injuries. The present study evaluated some factors that could affect the difficulty of aiming and clicking for children from Kindergarten 2 and Grade 1. Adults participated to serve as a reference group. The results show that the accuracy of mouse clicks and aiming speed are related the size of targets. The shape of targets or a context of distracting objects did not affect accuracy or speed. This work recommends the use of targets of at least 1 centimeter wide and tall in the design of software for young children. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2863-2874
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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