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Usability testing is a common tool used for evaluating the usability of a device in a development process. This method helps to improve the features and process of product. A well conducted usability testing process ensures that there is lesser technical problem at the user level, which would result in less maintenance efforts, development cost and ensuring customer satisfaction. Today the mobile phone has become one of the most common personal digital devices. Therefore, it is not surprising that mobile communication becomes more and more important. This essay describes about usability testing of mobile phones along with its application.
The experiment was performed on analysis of functions with cellular phones. From the analysis a list of twenty- six tasks were constructed for the experiment. The tasks include frequently used functions and infrequently used functions. The functions and keys various, and some functions may not be available on all phones. Frequently used task such as making a call from phone book and list of available operators will be infrequent task. For every task a keystroke- level is constructed on test phones.
The model constructed was limited to the shortest path through the phone interface. The comparison of the length of the paths indicates the learning difficulty for an interface. The experiment shows for a frequent task, phones provides an interface to be executed with in 10 keystrokes or less. The testing was carried out on Nokia, Ericsson, Siemens phones. The experiment shows Nokia and Ericsson interfaces are more similar to that of Siemens phone.
The experiment was conducted by comparing Siemens mobile phone interface with an identical interface without icons. The experiment suggests the users to read the manual before experimenting or verifying manual during the tasks.
The large number of analysis is based on difference between the two designs of mobile phones and nationality of the testing subjects which may influence their performance. For solving these tasks many steps were necessary. However the experiment mainly focused on display and keys of mobile phones along with usability acceptance. The experiment is carried out in two versions. First version led to collecting the observations data and second led to subject's questioner and comments and finally subjects were interviewed about particular problems and suggestions for improvement.
The final results focused on improvements in design and need of integrating usability evaluation.
Title: Usability Testing of Mobile Applications: A Comparison between Laboratory and Field Testing
Author: Anne Kaikkonen ,Nokia Group- Finland, Aki Kekäläinen Mihael Cankar, TeliaSonera- Finland Anu Kankainen Idean Research- Finland
This journal clarifies Usability testing for a mobile application in the laboratory is more sufficient rather than Studying user interface along with navigation issues. The journal shows usability of a mobile application was tested in two environments mainly in a laboratory and other in a field. The results shows same problems were found in both environments but differences occurred only in between the contexts.
Usability tests are traditionally conducted in usability test laboratories, the journals also says that laboratory environment type of testing is a peaceful space, where a test user can concentrate more on the given tasks. The study also clarifies the most of mobile device evaluations were done in laboratory settings this may be due to data collection techniques.
Finally the result indicates that searching user interface improves user interaction.
Title: Browsing on Mobile Phones
Author: Virpi Roto
Nokia Research Centre, Nokia Group, Finland
This journal describes about browsing on mobile phones. Although mobile browsing is not popular everywhere, this paper stats that browsing on mobile phone will be popular near in future the most important thing is to provide a compact device, which can be used to connect the internet using mobile options. The mobile browsing usability consists of several layers, but user cannot identify layer which cause usability problem.
This paper clarifies designing mobile browser for a small screen with input mechanisms is a challenging task because most devices are used in various countries. It also suggests that mobile browser should function smoothly with all types of content. The main issues discussed about both content and browser developers should understand the nature of mobile context.
The final result stats that service should be flexible depending on the different factors, but it is too expensive for service providers to build this context onmobile service. It is clear that improvements and inventions are needed to make web pages viewable on small screen mobile phones.
Title: Demarcating User experience
Author: Virpi Roto, Tampere University of Technology, Human-Centered Technology,
Nokia Research Centre, Nokia Group, Finland
This paper discusses about the scoping of user experience faced by users. User experience is a crossing point of several disciplines. A group of distinguished panellists from academic areas and industries represented the different perspectives of user experience. The main goal of this panel is to understand the concept of user experience.
The user experience is a concept covering all aspects of experience based on users. The main issue is that the practitioners in development area had difficulties to understand the concept of user experience. The author stats that Instead of dismissing the whole term of user experience, the developers can cover a certain set of cases , so that it makes developers scope clear and easy. There have been several activities that aim to get closer to a shared understanding of the vague concept of User experience, and the panel builds on those activities. The two main workshops special interest group session and online survey had been conducted to collect the information on user experience.
Title: XHTML in Mobile Application Development
Author: Anne Kaikkonen ,Virpi Roto
Nokia Research Center,Nokia Group, Finland
This paper indicates a Research carried out on a usability test for two XHTML Mobile Profile applications based on a new application and an auction application. The main goal of the research is carried on usage of XHTML Mobile Profile components for mobile applications.
This research is carried out to find the user interface solutions that users prefer and find out easy method to use as well as the solutions that users find difficult to use and thus should be avoided. The author also wanted to find out whether there are cultural differences between the preferences of different nationalities on the user interface solutions.
In this paper, the author concentrated on the differences found between WML and XTHML MP Usage, and between different user types. They author describes that the differences in the users' preferences on different user interface solutions were not between the subjects from different countries, but between the experienced mobile application users.
Title: Mobile Usability Report
Author: Sabrina Duda, Michael Schießl, Jan Michael Hess
This paper describes about the most important results of the usability testing on WAP (Wireless Application Protocol). The paper also argues about the history of internet on mobile phones along with accepted factors such as like relevance, speed and reliability. The main aim of this paper is to provide guidance for managers and developers involved in the development of mobile devices and more over to demonstrate the importance of usability as a determining factor of success also in the mobile internet
The result produced are straight forward and it states that user-friendly mobile services enjoy a high potential of user acceptance. The successful services are especially characterized by limited functionality and a clear focus on the specific mobile situation of the user.
This result shows a clear demonstration on the users requests towards the mobile internet compared to the stationary internet. Despite the underlying restrictions of the mobile internet, the data proves that consumers generally shows an interest in mobile services as they see the advantages of mobile services.
Finally the results demonstrate the necessity of a considerable improvement of the usability and the quality of information which leads to further developments.
The I Phone Beats HTC Touch and Nokia N95 at Usability Test
http://www.myacrobatpdf.com/7137/the-iphone-beats-htc-touch-and-nokia-n95-at-usability-test.html retrieved on 21/02/2010
The usability test was conducted on three main mobile and the results shows that iphone was much better than HTC and Nokia 95. The survey shows that users can use the functions of iphone such as setting the phone to vibrate mode, saving the phone number to contact list, taking photo without any difficulties.
Developing usable mobile phones
Virpi Roto Nokia Research Centre, Helsinki, Finland
http://www.eurescom.eu/message/messageDec2004/Developing_usable_mobile_phones.asp retrieved on 21/02/10
The main aim of usability professionals is to develop devices with user's perspective without technical difficulties and ensuring model can operate the device fluently.
Mobile usability white paper
No author, retrieved on 21/02/2010
The mobile usability was based on research study and the main aim of the research is to improve the application design areas. The study was focused on both product design and applications on user's perspective. The overall objective is to gather qualitative and quantitative evidence of the ability of users to complete the common tasks on different handsets.
In conclusion this essay describes about the summary of usability testing conducted on mobile phones and its services by researches. The summary clearly explains that usability testing carried on different user needs and it also states that it is difficult to satisfy all the user needs.