Investigating UI Displacements in an Adaptive Mobile Homescreen

Investigating UI Displacements in an Adaptive Mobile Homescreen

Lauren Norrie (School of Computing Science, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland) and Roderick Murray-Smith (School of Computing Science, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJMHCI.2016070101.oa
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Abstract

The authors present a system that adapts application shortcuts (apps) on the homescreen of an Android smartphone, and investigate the effect of UI displacements that are caused by the choice of adaptive model and the order of apps in the homescreen layout. They define UI displacements to be the distance that items move between adaptations, and they use this as a measure of stability. An experiment with 12 participants is performed to evaluate the impact of UI displacements on the homescreen. To make the distribution of apps in the experiment task less contrived, naturally generated data from a pilot study is used. The authors’ results show that selection time is correlated to the magnitude of the previous UI displacement. Additionally, selection time and subjective rating improve significantly when the model is easy to understand and an alphabetical order is used, conditions that increase stability. However, rank order is preferred when the model updates frequently and is less easy to understand. The authors present their approach to adapting apps on the homescreen, and initial insights into UI displacements.
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Introduction

The homescreen is the main menu that is displayed on a mobile device. On Android, a small number of apps can be placed on the homescreen for fast access, and the app drawer can be opened to display the entire list of apps. As a user installs more apps, the time and effort required to locate ones that do not feature on the homescreen will increase. Though only a small number of installed apps are used frequently (Falaki et al., 2010), the set that are frequently used changes over time (Shin, 2012). Therefore, the homescreen needs to be organised regularly. However, arranging icons on the homescreen can be annoying and time consuming, and some users do not arrange their icons at all (Böhmer & Krüger, 2013b). Supporting the user with organising the homescreen will improve the usability of mobile devices.

With access to a user’s app launch history, a system can predict the apps that are most likely to be launched next and adapt these on the homescreen automatically. The adaptive menu can replace a section of the homescreen to provide fast access to a selection of apps. The selection of apps is chosen by an adaptive model, which can be trained on a variety of features. Some features can be related to app use, such as launch frequency, and others may be contextual. Shin et. al. (2012) provide a detailed overview of features relating to mobile app use. In this work, we investigate the impact of stability on the homescreen by comparing adaptive models and the order of the layout.

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