Usability and Player Experience of Input Device for Mobile Gaming

Usability and Player Experience of Input Device for Mobile Gaming

Chu Kimberly (Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia), Tek Yong Lim (Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia), Chee Weng Khong (Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia) and Chui Yin Wong (Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJMHCI.2016070104
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Input devices for mobile gaming consist of hard keypad (HK) and soft keypad (SK). Different interaction for both input devices have an impact on usability and player experience. Although there are publications that evaluate on input devices and game, little is known on how HK and SK affect mobile gaming. The implication to usability aspect is not fully understood and the list of recommendation on player experience is limited. The aim of this paper is to examine usability and construct recommendation list for player experience by comparing two different types of mobile devices, namely HK and SK. For usability, an experiment was employed to measure effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction. The studies conducted an interview after the experiment. From the interview, a list of recommendation was constructed to identify player experience of input devices for mobile games. Results of the experiment were significant for effectiveness and satisfaction measures where HK performed better than SK. The recommendation list revealed both devices most mentioned positive and negative comments.
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Input Devices On Mobile

In Human Computer Interaction (HCI), input devices are categorized into switch based and pointing devices (Greenstein, 1997). The most common input device on mobile keypad consists of HK and SK. HK belongs to switch based input that uses numeric or navigational keypad buttons to relay information. SK belongs to the pointing based input, which allows users to input spatial data through direct manipulation on the virtual keys. Both switch based and pointing input include letters, numbers or symbols, and directional key presses to actuate users computing commands. Mobile phone has diverse input methods such as HK and SK combined into one device. Therefore, it is necessary to take the input characteristics into consideration. This paper provides a summary of available mobile input devices in Table 1.

Table 1.
Comparison between HK and SK
Category – Mobile Input (Input Device)Input Characteristics
Hard keypad•      Indirect input interaction
•      Physical keys similar to game controllers used with gaming consoles
•      Kinaesthetic feedback give players a physical clicking feel
•      Appear physically all the time
•      Smaller in size because it shares space with other numeric and alphabetical keys
Soft keypad•      Direct input interaction
•      Virtual key
•      Visual recognition is required as players will not be able to feel the buttons or keys texture
•      Vibration feedback is available
•      Keypad can hide from view when not in used and displayed when required thus is less cramped
•      Available in larger size as it is not restricted by physical numeric and alphabetical keypads

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