Optimizing speed and accuracy of menu selection: a comparison of walking and pull-down menus

Neff Walker, John B. Smelcer, Erik Nilsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This paper reports three experiments that investigated factors which affect movement time and accuracy of menu selection with a mouse. The experiments primarily focused on the movements required to select from walking menus. The results suggest that width of the path that the cursor must travel can be an important variable in explaining speed and accuracy of motor movement in a walking menu. The studies also investigated the effects of impermeable borders and the size of menu items on movement time. The results show that borders and changing the size of menu items can improve the speed and accuracy of selection time. A final study found that when borders are used on a pull-down bar menu, the time required to access a second-level menu is less than that required by a walking menu, even though the walking menu pops up at the pointer location and the bar menu is located 15 cm away from the initial pointer position.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-890
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Man-Machine Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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