Mobile Computing, Applications, and Services. Third International Conference, MobiCASE 2011, Los Angeles, CA, USA, October 24-27, 2011. Revised Selected Papers

Research Article

A Toolkit for Usability Testing of Mobile Applications

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-642-32320-1_15,
        author={Xiaoxiao Ma and Bo Yan and Guanling Chen and Chunhui Zhang and Ke Huang and Jill Drury},
        title={A Toolkit for Usability Testing of Mobile Applications},
        proceedings={Mobile Computing, Applications, and Services. Third International Conference, MobiCASE 2011, Los Angeles, CA, USA, October 24-27, 2011. Revised Selected Papers},
        proceedings_a={MOBICASE},
        year={2012},
        month={10},
        keywords={Toolkit Usability Testing Mobile Application Automated Logging method},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-642-32320-1_15}
    }
    
  • Xiaoxiao Ma
    Bo Yan
    Guanling Chen
    Chunhui Zhang
    Ke Huang
    Jill Drury
    Year: 2012
    A Toolkit for Usability Testing of Mobile Applications
    MOBICASE
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-32320-1_15
Xiaoxiao Ma1,*, Bo Yan1,*, Guanling Chen1,*, Chunhui Zhang1,*, Ke Huang1,*, Jill Drury1,*
  • 1: University of Massachusetts Lowell
*Contact email: xma@cs.uml.edu, byan@cs.uml.edu, glchen@cs.uml.edu, czhang@cs.uml.edu, khuang@cs.uml.edu, jdrury@cs.uml.edu

Abstract

The usability of mobile applications is critical for their adoption particularly because of the relatively small screen and awkward (sometimes virtual) keyboard, despite the recent advances of smartphones. Traditional laboratory-based usability testing is often tedious, expensive, and does not reflect real use cases. In this paper, we propose a toolkit that embeds into mobile applications the ability to automatically collect user interface (UI) events as the user interacts with the applications. The events are fine-grained and useful for quantified usability analysis. We have implemented the toolkit on Android devices and we evaluated the toolkit with a real deployed Android application by comparing event analysis (state-machine based) with traditional laboratory testing (expert based). The results show that our toolkit is effective at capturing detailed UI events for accurate usability analysis.