During the use of mobile applications on the move the user’s cognitive resources are split into handling the application and conducting a primary task, i.e. walking or driving a car. Traditional lab-based usability tests do not take the influence of fragmented attention into account. In field tests on the other hand we cannot control environmental conditions.
In this paper we show how to use a car simulator to generate a controllable primary task. By comparing an undisturbed reference test with a subsequent simulator-based test we gain key figures, which reveal problems that only appear if the application is used in scenarios of fragmented attention.
We conducted a test series to evaluate our method and hardware setup. First results gained in these tests show that state inspections – frequent glances the user needs to observe the application’s state during a system induced latency – are an avoidable cause for mobile usability problems.
Das Paper wurde im Juni 2011 auf der CHI Sparks Conference der HAN University of Applied Science präsentiert.
Grischa Schmiedl, Kerstin Blumenstein, Markus Seidl
Schmiedl, Blumenstein, Seidl (2011): Usability Testing for Mobile Scenarios of Fragmented Attention, Proceedings of the CHI Sparks Conference, Han, Nederlands