Instrumented Usability Analysis for Mobile Devices

Instrumented Usability Analysis for Mobile Devices

Andrew Crossan (University of Glasgow, Scotland), Roderick Murray-Smith (University of Glasgow, Scotland and Hamilton Institute, National University of Ireland - Maynooth, Ireland), Stephen Brewster (University of Glasgow, Scotland) and Bojan Musizza (Institut Jozef Stefan, Slovenia)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/jmhci.2009010101
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Instrumented usability analysis involves the use of sensors during a usability study which provide observations from which the evaluator can infer details of the context of use, specific activities or disturbances. This is particularly useful for the evaluation of mobile and wearable devices, which are currently difficult to test realistically without constraining users in unnatural ways. To illustrate the benefits of such an approach, we present a study of touch-screen selection of on-screen targets, whilst walking and sitting, using a PocketPC instrumented with an accelerometer. From the accelerometer data the user’s gait behaviour is inferred, allowing us to link performance to gait phase angle, showing there were phase regions with significantly lower error and variability. The article provides examples of how information acquired via sensors gives us quantitatively measurable information about the detailed interactions taking place when mobile, allowing designers to test and revise design decisions, based on realistic user activity.

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