Goal crossing

Validation level: 5. CHI, UIST, CSCW and TOCHI paper publication

Goal crossing offers an alternative to pointing and clicking, which is optimized for touch- and pen-based interfaces. By crossing, a user moves the cursor beyond the boundary of a targeted graphical object to select it.

Copy Bibtex Apitz, G. and Guimbretière, F. CrossY: A Crossing-based Drawing Application. In Proceedings of the 17th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, pages 3-12, ACM, New York, NY, USA, UIST '04 , 2004.
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Storyboard of Functions

(Case 1) Buttons: the user drags over a button area instead of clicking on it

(Case 2) Menus: Drag from menu icon into submenu to select item

(Case 2.5) Complex menus: crossing items can turn selecting multiple submenus into one fluid gesture

(Case 3) Scrollbar: scrollbar is selected by dragging through it

(Case 4) Dialog box: select item by crossing over it


A huge strength of goal crossing is that commands can be composed fluidly across one stroke. This means that complex lists or hierarchies can be significantly easier to use—for example, one stroke can begin in a top level menu, flow into a first submenu, and finish in a second or even third submenu without adding meaningful complexity.


One limitation is the speed at which crossing can be used in a crowded interface. The quicker a gesture, the more sloppier it may be, which means each interactive area needs to be correspondingly larger to accommodate messier gestures.