26.2.2009 UIx publishes blueprint of their mobile usability lab

Thu, 26.02.2009

UIx publishes blueprint of their mobile usability lab in the most recent issue of Journal of Usability Studies. The editor writes "Antti Oulasvirta and Tuomo Nyyssönen address the specific challenge of having the appropriate setup for capturing the mobile interaction context. They describe a system developed to capture user's interaction with mobile devices in field studies. While the article is a bit on the technical side, it can be a great reference for all those aspiring to develop and/or use tools for mobile usability testing 'in the wild'."

Flexible Hardware Configurations for Studying Mobile Usability

Antti Oulasvirta and Tuomo Nyyssönen

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2009, pp. 93-105

The main challenges for mobile usability labs, as measurement instruments, lay not so much on being able to record what happens on the user interface, but capturing the interactional relationship between the user and the environment. An ideal mobile usability lab would enable recording, with sufficient accuracy and reliability, the user's deployment of gaze, the hands, the near bodyspace, proximate and distant objects of interest, as well as abrupt environmental events. An inherent complication is that the equipment will affect these events and is affected by them. We argue that a balance between coverage and obtrusiveness must be found on a per case basis. We present a modular solution to mobile usability labs, allowing both belt- and backpack-worn configurations and flexible division of equipment between the user, the moderator, and the environment. These benefits were achieved without sacrificing data quality, operational duration, or light weight. We describe system design rationale and report first experiences from a field experiment. Current work concentrates on simplifying the system to improve cost-efficiency.


Last updated on 26 Feb 2009 by Antti Oulasvirta - Page created on 26 Feb 2009 by Antti Oulasvirta