||framework analysis of mobile services
||De Leon, Betza
||Technical University of Denmark, DTU, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
||Analysis of Usability Frameworks for Designing Mobile Devices -
Integrating Cultural Usability
Mobile phones and telecommunication devices have become common accessories in everybody's life. There is a great diversity of mobile devices and multimedia services only waiting to be purchased. The bottom line though is it has become very difficult to differentiate between valuable technological additions and technological 'noise'. Many mobile devices and services today are largely still 'flopping'. One wonders: Are these applications and gadgets valuable in the user's eyes? On what grounds were these features developed in the first place? Judging from a number of user studies, there seems to be a gap between offer and demand of these products.
This study takes a step back and analyzes the foundations for the development of mobile devices today. Usability concepts until now had focused on desktop applications and stationary processes, but are they suitable for mobile technology? Usability design for mobile devices presents new challenges such as dynamic environmental and social conditions and complex interactions. To understand these relationships, mobile technology is placed within the framework of a socio-technical system. In connection with this, a number of empirical sources are analyzed to identify usability requirements for mobile devices and current user attitudes.
Traditional usability theories ignore the user's context and focus on the artifact and its functionalities; what shortcomings arise when transposing this view to mobile technologies and why is a cultural usability approach relevant in the design and evaluation process? Based on this framework how could a user-centered design strategy look like?
Part of this research outlines the attitude of important actors in the telecom industry and shows their motivations toward use and production of mobile devices and services. This study shows that mobile consumption is an activity rooted in social scenarios. It highlights the importance of considering cultural factors and contextual issues to inform mobile technology design.
The theory of cultural usability is finally used to create a model for designing mobile technology. Usability engineering and marketing are integrated by combining relevant research techniques and data collection methods. Using this model, two mobile product offers, targeting respectively seniors and 'tweens' (kids age 8-12), are evaluated for risks and opportunities.
||usability; user-centered design; socio-technical systems; mobile technology; telecom industry; Culture
Creation date: 2006-06-22
Update date: 2007-02-24