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Evaluating the usability of a mobile guide: the influence of location, participants and resources

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When designing a usability evaluation, choices must be made regarding methods and techniques for data collection and analysis. Mobile guides raise new concerns and challenges to established usability evaluation approaches. Not only are they typically closely related to objects and activities in the user's immediate surroundings, they are often used while the user is ambulating. This paper presents results from an extensive, multi-method evaluation of a mobile guide designed to support the use of public transport in Melbourne, Australia. In evaluating the guide, we applied four different techniques; field-evaluation, laboratory evaluation, heuristic walkthrough and rapid reflection. This paper describes these four approaches and their respective outcomes, and discusses their relative strengths and weaknesses for evaluating the usability of mobile guides.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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