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What is Visual Distraction

Handbook of Research on User Interface Design and Evaluation for Mobile Technology
Distractions that require participants’ visual attention.
Published in Chapter:
Did You See That?
Murray Crease (National Research Council of Canada, Canada) and Joanna Lumsden (National Research Council of Canada, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-871-0.ch057
The development of appropriate lab-based evaluation techniques for mobile technologies requires continued research attention. In particular, experimental design needs to account for the environmental context in which such technologies will ultimately be used. This requires, in part, that relevant environmental distractions be incorporated into evaluations. This chapter reflects on different techniques that were used in three separate lab-based mobile evaluation experiments to present visual distractions to participants and to measure the participants’ cognizance of the distractions during the course of mobile evaluations of technology. The different techniques met the different needs of the three studies with respect to the fidelity of the data captured, the impact of acknowledging distractions on the evaluation task, and the typical context of use for the technology being evaluated. The results of the studies showed that the introduction of visual distractions did have an impact on the experimental task and indicate that future work is required in this area.
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