Do you want to measure the usability of your touchscreen phone application?
Mobile phones are becoming the most popular and widespread personal consumer device. In the last decade, they have rapidly advanced from a simple device to make phone calls to complex multimedia interactive systems. Such changes in devices have a significant impact on the nature of user interaction. Yet, on the other hand, usability is one of the most important quality aspects of mobile apps.
We systematically developed a usability scale to measure usability of touch-screen phone applications through a single score. In a first step, based on an systematic literature review, we tailored Nielsen’s traditional usability heuristics to touch-screen phone applications. This set of heuristics has been decomposed into a set of measurement items representing the abstract quality construct usability. It has been operationalized through a questionnaire (denoted checklist) based on the device-specific interpretations and typical usability problems. The checklist has been validated through an empirical study in which the results of 247 heuristic evaluations using the checklist have been analyzed statistically using Item Response Theory (IRT). Based on the analysis results a standardized scale for measuring usability of touch-screen phone applications has been constructed and the checklist has been improved.
We expect that the constructed scale can be used effectively by usability practitioners to measure the usability of touch-screen phone applications from early on in the design process in an easy way, and, thus, facilitating usability evaluations in a cost-effective way aiming at the improvement of usability of mobile applications.
MaTCH-MED: customizing the heuristics and checklist for healthcare applications.
The results of this research have been awarded with the 3. Place of the Dorgival Brandão Júnior Award from the Brazilian Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry in 2013.
In the news
Projeto que mede usabilidade em aplicativos de celulares conquista terceiro lugar em prêmio nacional. Notícias da UFSC. 26/06/2013.
SALAZAR, L. H. A.; LACERDA, T.; NUNES, J. V.; GRESSE VON WANGENHEIM, C. Systematic Literature Review on Usability Heuristics for Mobile Phones. International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction, 5(2), 2013.
SALAZAR, L. H. A.; LACERDA, T. C.; GRESSE VON WANGENHEIM, C.; BARBALHO, R. A. Customizando Heurísticas de Usabilidade para Celulares. Proc. of Simpósio Brasileiro de Fatores Humanos em Sistemas Computacionais, Cuiabá/Brazil, 2012. draft version
WITT, A. T. Aplicação da Técnica Estatística Teoria da Resposta ao Item para Avaliar um Conjunto de Heurísticas de Usabilidade para Dispositivos Celulares Touchscreen. 2013. Trabalho de Conclusão de Curso. (Graduação em Sistemas de Informação) – Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina.
LACERDA, T. C.; NUNES, J. V.; GRESSE VON WANGENHEIM, C. Customização de Heurísticas de Usabilidade para Celulares. Encontro da Qualidade e Produtividade em Software – EQPS, Salvador/Brazil, 2013. slides