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JUS Tables of Contents: 010203040506070809

Journal of Usability Studies 9

Editors:Bill Albert; Joe Dumas
Dates:2013/2014
Volume:9
Publisher:User Experience Professionals' Association
Standard No:ISSN 1931-3357
Papers:12
Links:Journal Home Page | Table of Contents
  1. JUS 2013-11 Volume 9 Issue 1
  2. JUS 2014-02 Volume 9 Issue 2
  3. JUS 2014-05 Volume 9 Issue 3
  4. JUS 2014-08 Volume 9 Issue 4

JUS 2013-11 Volume 9 Issue 1

Editorial

The UTEST Community: Celebrating 20 Years of a Safe Space for UX Discussions BIBWeb Page 1-13
  Tharon W. Howard; Laurie Gray; Alicia Hatter; Jurek Kirakowski; Dick Miller; Ginny Redish; Maggie Reilly; Carol Righi; Carl Zetie

Peer-reviewed Articles

How Low Can You Go? Is the System Usability Scale Range Restricted? BIBAWeb Page 14-24
  Philip Kortum; Claudia Ziegler Acemyan
Previous research suggests that the System Usability Scale (SUS) might not be generating usability scores that span the entire measurement range from 0 to 100, particularly at the lower end of the scale. Most published literature has reported study mean scores that are typically above 40. The use of only a subset of the SUS could change how collected data is interpreted, especially when comparing the relative usability of systems. In this study, participants reported their subjective usability assessments of 14 different voting interfaces using the SUS. Participants were given a packet that contained the 14 ballots presented in random order. After completing each ballot, the participants were given the SUS and asked to rate the usability of the ballot that they had just used. Results showed that nearly the entire range of the available scale was used, with average study scores ranging from 15.4 to 93.0. Nine of the 14 ballot means were below 50, the midpoint of the SUS scale, demonstrating that low end range limitation is not an intrinsic characteristic of the scale. A partial replication was performed with a subset of three ballots (best, worst, and midpoint); the results were nearly identical. Further research is required to characterize systems with low SUS scores.
User Experience and Accessibility: An Analysis of County Web Portals BIBAWeb Page 25-41
  Norman E. Youngblood; Susan A. Youngblood
Website usability reinforces trust in e-government, but at the local level, e-government tends to have usability and accessibility problems. Web portals should be usable, accessible, well coded, and mobile-device-ready. This study applies usability heuristics and automated analyses to assess a state-wide population of county web portals and examines whether population, per capita income, or median household income are related to usability, accessibility, and coding practices. To assess usability, we applied a 14-point usability heuristic to each site's homepage. To study accessibility and coding, we examined each homepage with an accessibility checker and with the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) HTML validator. We also examined the HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) of each site to check for mobile-device readiness and to better understand coding problems the automated tools identified. This study found that portal adoption is associated with each of the demographics above and that accessibility has a weak inverse relationship to per-capita income. Many of the sites we examined met some basic usability standards, but few met all the standards used, and most sites did not pass a basic accessibility analysis. About 58% of the counties we examined used a centralized county web portal (not including county commission sites), which is better than a 2006 study that found a 56% portal adoption at the national level. Resulting recommendations include best-practice suggestions for design and for using automated tools to identify problems, as well as a call to usability professionals to aid in county web portal development.

JUS 2014-02 Volume 9 Issue 2

Invited Essay

User Experience in Asia BIBAWeb Page 42-50
  Zhengjie Liu
The User Experience (UX) profession originated in North America and Western Europe in the late 1980s (Dumas, 2007). In the last 10 years it has begun to expand to the rest of the world. In Asia, the fastest growing and most dynamic economic region in the world (World Bank, 2013a), the UX field has seen rapid development in recent years. Although only 7% of UXPA members in 2012 were from Asia (Dumas & Saparova, 2012), in some Asian countries, there are a large number of UX practitioners working in different industries. I estimate that just in China there are thousands of people engaged in UX related work. How did the profession develop? What is the current situation for UX practitioners and practices? How has the course of its development been shaped by Asia's particular social, economic, and cultural contexts? How will its future development be affected? And what can our colleagues in the rest of the world, especially those in the developing world, learn from our experience? This article provides a brief answer to these questions, discusses some other interesting UX-related issues, and provides my personal view about the future of the UX profession in Asia.

Peer-reviewed Articles

The Pervasiveness of Text Advertising Blindness BIBAWeb Page 51-69
  Justin W. Owens; Evan M. Palmer; Barbara S. Chaparro
Users of websites tend to ignore text advertisements, especially when they are on the right side of a web page, even when the advertisements are useful for completing a task. This study explores the impact of web page layout conventions on text advertising blindness and how quickly users adapt to websites that violate layout conventions. Participants performed search tasks on either "standard" or "nonstandard" website layouts. In the nonstandard website, content from the left (i.e., navigation menu) and the right side of the website (i.e., text advertisements) were reversed. Results demonstrated that text advertising blindness was prevalent regardless of the website layout. Users adapted to the reversed layout rapidly, but at a cost of perceived mental effort and task success. Analyses of eye movement data showed that users had a tendency to fixate first in the standard location for the navigation menu when using the nonstandard website, but did not fixate more often in that location after the first few trials. A decrease in text ad blindness over time for the standard, but not the nonstandard, website design also was observed. Practitioners are advised not to violate web layout norms in an attempt to draw more attention to web advertisements. This strategy may be counterproductive where it may actually increase text advertising blindness and decrease the usability of the website.
User Performance and Satisfaction of Tablet Physical Keyboards BIBAWeb Page 70-80
  Barbara S. Chaparro; Mikki H. Phan; Christina Siu; Jo R. Jardina
This study presents an evaluation of user performance and satisfaction of three physical keyboards that accompany two popular tablet computers. All keyboards were dual purpose in that they served as tablet covers in addition to typing input devices. The keyboards varied in weight, thickness, and key travel. The thinnest keyboard featured durability and pressure-sensitive keys while the other two keyboards were slightly thicker, but used mechanical keys. Participants unfamiliar with the keyboards were asked to type a series of phrases on each keyboard after a short practice. Typing performance, and perceived usability and workload were assessed. Results show a clear advantage in both performance and satisfaction for the mechanical-key keyboards. Users demonstrated typing speeds approximately 10 words per minute (WPM) slower and were prone to typing errors such as incorrect key substitutions, omissions, and inadvertent insertions with the thinner, pressure-sensitive keyboard. In addition, users reported the flat keyboard was more mentally demanding, more frustrating, and required more effort to use. Results from this study reveal the importance of tactile feedback to user typing performance and satisfaction. Designers of tablet physical keyboards must assess the tradeoff between optimal keyboard size, weight, and thickness, and a design that affords accurate typing.

JUS 2014-05 Volume 9 Issue 3

Invited Essay

Fast Tracking User Experience Maturity in Corporations -- From a Business Perspective BIBAWeb Page 81-86
  Kurt Sillé
In this essay I will share some of my experiences based on my work with advising large corporations in the ways to progress a company along the UX-maturity spectrum. Throughout this essay, I share some of the key ingredients necessary to move your clients up the UX-maturity ladder faster.

Peer-reviewed Articles

Analyzing Card-Sorting Data Using Graph Visualization BIBAWeb Page 87-104
  Celeste Lyn Paul
This paper describes a method for visualizing and analyzing co-occurrence in card-sorting data. Card sorting is a popular knowledge elicitation method used in information architecture and user experience design. However, analyzing card-sorting data can be a challenge. Detailed qualitative analysis is difficult and time consuming, especially for larger studies. Quantitative analysis can be automated and is scalable, but can be difficult to interpret.
   A graph visualization offers a novel way to analyze and understand the relationships between cards and the mental models elicited in a card-sorting study. Graph visualizations are graphs that illustrate connections between concepts, such as cards in a card-sorting study. A visualization can quickly show relationships between cards and clusters of cards that represent topics that may not be obvious from traditional card-sort analysis methods. A case study describes how graph visualization can be used to analyze the data. The results of the analysis are compared and contrasted with a popular histogram-matrix analysis method. Strengths and weaknesses of the proposed graph-visualization analysis method are discussed.
Set of Guidelines for Persuasive Interfaces: Organization and Validation of the Criteria BIBAWeb Page 105-128
  Alexandra Néry; Eric Brangier
This study presents an attempt to organize and validate a set of guidelines to assess the persuasive characteristics of interfaces (web, software, etc.). Persuasive aspects of interfaces are a fast growing topic of interest; numerous website and application designers have understood the importance of using interfaces to persuade and even to change users' attitudes and behaviors. However, research has so far been limited by a lack of available tools to measure interface persuasion. This paper provides a criteria-based approach to identify and assess the persuasive power of interfaces.
   We selected164 publications in the field of persuasive technology, and we used those publications to define eight criteria: credibility, privacy, personalization, attractiveness, solicitation, priming, commitment, and ascendency. Thirty experts in human-computer interaction (HCI) were asked to use guidelines to identify and classify persuasive elements of 15 interfaces. The average percentage of correct identification was 78.8%, with Randolph's kappa coefficient = 0.61. These results confirm that the criteria for interactive persuasion, in their current form, can be considered as valid, reliable, and usable. This paper provides some inherent limitations of this method and identifies potential refinements of some definitions. Finally, this paper demonstrates how a checklist can be used to inspect the persuasiveness of interfaces.

JUS 2014-08 Volume 9 Issue 4

Peer-reviewed Articles

The Tortoise and the (Soft)ware: Moore's Law, Amdahl's Law, and Performance Trends for Human-Machine Systems BIBAWeb Page 129-151
  Randolph G. Bias; Clayton Lewis; Doug Gillan
Human interaction with computing and communication systems involves a mix of parallel and serial processing by the human-computer system. Moore's Law provides an illustration of the fact that the performance of the digital components of any human-computer system has improved rapidly. But what of the performance of those human components? While we humans are amazing information processing machines, our information processing capabilities are relatively fixed. This paper reviews 100 years of the human performance literature and shows, graphically, the disparity between the non-growth in human performance and the geometrical improvements in computational capability. Further, Amdahl's Law demonstrates, algebraically, that increasingly the (non-parallelizable) human performance becomes the determining factor of speed and success in most any human-computer system. Whereas engineered products improve daily, and the amount of information for us to potentially process is growing at an ever quickening pace, the fundamental building blocks of human-information processing (e.g., reaction time, short-term memory capacity) have the same speed and capacity as they did for our grandparents. Or, likely, for the ancient Greeks. This implies much for human-computer interaction design; rather than hoping our users to read or to type faster, we must look for optimally chosen human channels and maximally matched human and machine functions. This tortoise and the (hard- and soft-)ware race demands renewed enthusiasm for, and increased, systematic attention paid to the practice of usability and to research in human-computer interaction.
Probability Plotting: A Tool for Analyzing Task Completion Times BIBAWeb Page 152-172
  Bernard Rummel
Task completion time is a valuable metric for assessing or comparing the usability of a product. In online, unmoderated usability tests and other automated user behavior tracking methods, the large amount of time data that such tests yield must be carefully examined to exclude invalid data before further analysis can be meaningful. Other methodological challenges arise from the typically skewed statistical distributions in time data and varying task completion rates.
   This paper describes how probability plotting, a technique developed in reliability analysis, can be applied to task completion times in usability tests. The method can be used to quickly identify outliers (such as speeders or cheaters), to verify distribution types, and to generate or verify hypotheses about the mechanism that may have generated the observed data distribution. In addition, the method affords using data from unsuccessful tasks and comparing completion times for tasks with different failure rates. Distribution parameters, in particular from the exponential distribution, can serve as additional usability metrics for comparative analysis. In this paper, probability plotting is applied to examples of task completion time data to illustrate its use in a usability test, and a link to a spreadsheet that automates the calculations is provided.
The Roles of Health Literacy, Numeracy, and Graph Literacy on the Usability of the VA's Personal Health Record by Veterans BIBAWeb Page 173-193
  Joseph Sharit; Miriam Lisigurski; Allen D. Andrade; Chandana Karanam; Kim M. Nazi; James R. Lewis; Jorge G. Ruiz
Personal Health Records (PHRs) that are tethered to electronic medical health systems are applications that can significantly enhance patients' health and health care. The primary aim of this research was to examine the roles of health literacy, numeracy ability, and graph literacy in enabling a group of veterans to perform health-management tasks using My HealtheVet (MHV), the Department of Veterans Affairs' PHR portal. Forty participants, all users of MHV, were recruited in two age groups: < 65 and = 65 years of age. They were asked to perform 13 tasks representative of this portal's eight major categories of functions, and were categorized into lower and higher performers based on their performance of those tasks. The results indicated that age, health literacy, numeracy, and graph literacy all significantly differentiated lower from higher task performers. Also, older veterans performed more poorly than their younger counterparts. Graph literacy explained a significant amount of the variability in task performance even after computer and Internet proficiency, health status, health literacy, and numeracy ability were taken into consideration. Exit interviews emphasized problems with the presentation of excessive information and with navigating this portal. Participants also offered a number of recommendations for improving this PHR's design. Overall, the findings provided the basis for recommendations that consider both more conventional interface design issues as well as problems that could stem from individual factors such as health and graph literacy. The findings from this study are expected to inform upcoming redesign efforts of MHV as well as other relatively complex PHRs.