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Exploring potential usability gaps when switching mobile phones: An empirical study

Conference paper
Authors Aiko Fallas Yamashita
Wolmet Barendregt
Morten Fjeld
Published in The 21st BCS HCI Group conference
Pages 1-8
Publication year 2007
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Computing Science (GU)
Pages 1-8
Language en
Keywords user Interfaces, evaluation/methodology, interaction styles (e.g., commands, menus, forms, direct manipulation) , user-centred design, Measurement, Design, Experimentation, Human Factors, Mobile phone UI, usability evaluation, usability problems
Subject categories Informatics and systems science, Cognitive science, Other information technology

Abstract

The study presented explores potential usability gaps when users switch from a familiar to an unfamiliar mobile phone interface. A within-subject experiment was performed in which nine users familiar with Sony-Ericsson T630 and nine familiar with Nokia 7250 performed tasks on both phones. On average, test subjects spent more time on finishing tasks with an unfamiliar phone than with a familiar one. For two of the four tasks, there was a significant difference in completion time between the first-time Nokia users and the first-time Sony-Ericsson users. The tasks of adding a contact to the address book and sending an SMS to a contact in the address book were performed more quickly by new Nokia users than by new Sony-Ericsson users. The subjective difficulty ranking also showed that first-time Nokia users found the new phone easier to use than first-time Sony-Ericsson users did. Hierarchic Task Analysis is used as a potential explanation, and three other theories that relate to these findings are presented: mental models, habit errors, and emotional attachment.

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