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Task factor usability ratings for different age groups writing Chinese

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This study evaluated how different task factors affect performance and user subjective preferences for three different age groups of Chinese subjects (6-11, 20-23, 65-70 years) when hand writing Chinese characters. The subjects copied Chinese character sentences with different settings for the task factors of writing plane angle (horizontal 0°, slanted 15°), writing direction (horizontal, vertical), and line spacing (5 mm, 7 mm and no lines). Writing speed was measured and subjective preferences (effectiveness and satisfaction) were assessed for each of the task factor settings. The result showed that there was a conflict between writing speed and personal preference for the line spacing factor; 5 mm line spacing increased writing speed but it was the least preferred. It was also found that: vertical and horizontal writing directions and a slanted work surface suited school-aged children; a horizontal work surface and horizontal writing direction suited university students; and a horizontal writing direction with either a horizontal or slanted work surface suited the older adults.
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Keywords: Chinese writing; subjective preference; usability; writing speed

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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