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Apparent usability vs. inherent usability experimental analysis on the determinants of the apparent usability

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Abstract

For the purpose of comparing the concept of the apparent usability with the concept of the intended inherent usability and the experienced inherent usability, two psychological experiments were conducted to see how much the apparent usability is related to the inherent usability. In both experiments, two kinds of usability concepts showed low correlations with each other. The result indicated that the apparent usability is a different concept from the inherent usability and is rather related to the visual impression of the interface. This result also means that the inherent usability is difficult to be understood by just looking at the interface and suggests that the interface designers have to make efforts to make the interface 'look' usable as well as to make it 'actually' usable.
Short Papers May 7-11 1995 CHI’95 MOSAIC OF CREATIVITY
Apparent Usability vs. Inherent Usability
Experimental analysis on the determinants of the apparent usability
Masaaki
Kurosu KaOli Kashirnum
Design Center, Hitachi Ltd.
5-2-1 Minami-aoyama, Mlnato-ku, Tokyo 107 JAPAN
+81-3-5485-1451
PFDO0343@niftyserve.or.jp
ABSTRACT
Correlational analysis of the evaluation &la on the
apparent usability with the inherent usability mcasurea
Rvealed that the apparcmtusability is strongly affected by
the aesthetic aspectsrather than the inherent usability.
KEYWORDS: usability, screm layout
INTFU3DUCTION
Interthce dcsigncm are making efforts to increase the
efficiency of the operation, to make the interface easy to
undcxstan4 Ato inmasc the safety of dafa &em mis-
OptXitiOllS. But such efforts ae had to bunderstood
unless the user actually uses it. That is to say, such
inherent usability is meaningless for the user if the
pmkt is not appealing enough fm them to buy it. This
is the reason why we started to study the determinants of
the appanmt usability. We think that the products should
be appamtly usable as well as inherently usable.
1. GENERATION OF LAYOUT PAllERNS
From among various aspects of the graphicaI interface
design, wselected the stxecn layout for the study of the
apparent usability. As afiist step, whave to collect
variations of the layout pattern. The way we adoptedwas
to let the subjects generate their own layout using the
same gmphical elements. The sample screen was taken
fmm the cash di.qmser which has ten numeric keys,
special numeric keys (thousands rai ten-thousands), the
Yen key (as adelimhcr), the cancel key, the correction
key, the main display ti the sub display (the figure of a
MYO as graphical elements.
Twenty-six subjects, including 9GUI dcsignem, 6
industrial designers, 8engineers and 3 sccrctaries,
participated in the experiment and were asked to locate
those elements on the computer exeen as they might
thhdc optimal in various senses The hard copies of the
saeen wre usedas stimuli in the evaluation mscamh.
2. EVALUATION RESEARCH
Twenty-six layout patterns wae then evaluated in both the
functional aspect rmd the aesthetic aspect. Total of 252
subjects wem asked to rate these two aspects on the ten
point rating scales, i.e. how much they look to beasyto
usc (apparently usable) md how much they look
beautiful. The subjets included 156 students of the design
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kasimura@crLhitachi.co.jp
school and 96 students of the psychology course of the
university. Becauseboth groups of subjects showed high
correlations in their judgments (0.679 for the apparent
usability and 0.783 for the beauty), we merged the datato
use in the analysis that followed.
Fig. 1shows the configuration of 26 layout samples on
the plane with the beauty (abscissa) ml the apparent
usability (ordinate). Relatively high correlation (0.589)
was obtained between these two scales which suggests
that the apparent usability is somewhat dated to the
aesthetic aspectof the layout pattern. Four typical sample
layouts aIOshown in Fig. 2. ‘Ihe upper right sample was
rated highly usable and highly beautiful, ad the lower left
sample was rated less usable and less beautiful.
3. DETERMINANTSOF APPARENT USABILllY
What we have done next was to find out principal
determinants of the apparent usability. As for the
determinants, wc Iistcd out fastors that the intezfixe
designersareconsidering to enhamx the inherent usability.
From the hearing session with the interface designers,
following strategies weaefound or, at least, seemed to be
effective in the acturd design process. The list also shows
the measurement methods adopted in the analysis (in
parenthesis).
1. Cognitive efficiency strategy
1.1 Glance sequence
The main display should be pkxed at the upper left comer,
becausethe user may start to look at the screen from there
then may go down right. Because the main display is
showing information that is nccesary for the subsequent
operation, it should be seen by the user fmt in the total
operation sequence. (The distance between the center of
the main display and the top left comer of the scmm in
cm.)
1.2 Familiarity
The numeric keys should better be arranged mon the
telephone keypad (1 23 keys at the top IOW) mther than
the keys on the calculator (7 89 keys at the top row),
becausethe former has much familiarity for the ordinary
user. The horizontal alignmen is not leUnmnended
because of the inefficiency of the hand motion ad the
possible existence of the parallax causedby the thick glass
cover. (TVUCof the key pattern. <Nominal scale>)
.-.
1.3 Grouping
Keys should be mouped according to their functions. This
is b on the ;oncept of the perceptual grouping of the
Gestalt psychology. (Number of key groups.)
2. OpcrationaJ efficiency strategy
2.1 Operation sequence-1
292
CHI ’95 MOSAIC OF CREATIVITY May 7-11 1995 IShort Papers
Special numeric keys should be ananged as
the ten- thousands key fmt ard the
thousands key next to it, txmed on the
consideration of the U& of operation.
(Type of sequence. <Nominal @@)
2.2 Hand domkmce
Numeric keys should be pked at right on
the sercen. (The distance behveen the center
of the key 5 and the right edge of the scnmr
in cm.)
2.3 Operation sequence-2
The YerI key should he placed at the lower
right comer of the screen. (The distam
between the center of the Ycn key ad the
lower right comesof the screenin cm.)
3. Safety stmtegy
The and key should bpfao?d f% apart
from the main key block to avoid the
mistouch. (Ilre distance between the center
of the cancel key rmd the ccntcr of the key 5
in cm.)
Correlation coefficients zmd C4refficients of
contingency (for the nominal scale) weae
calcufatcd for each strategy measures of the
ineherent usability with the rating value of
the apparent usability. Values obtained were
unexpwtcdfy low in many casesas follows.
1.1 Glance scqucme ............... 0.000
1.2 Familiarity ..................... 0.730
1.3 Grouping ........................ 0.075
2.1 Operation sequence1......... 0.113
2.2 Hand dominmw ............... -0.127
2.3 Operation sequemx 2......... -0.306
3. Safety strategy ................... 0.137
CONCLUSION
These results show that the
=t usability is less cordatcd
the inherent usability
canpared to the apparent beauty
which showed the correlation
coefficient of 0.589. This suggests
that the usa may be strongly
affcctcd by the aesthetic aspect of
the interface even when they try to
evaluate the interfu in its
functional aspects dit is
suggested that the interface
designem should strive not only to
improve the inherent usability but
also brush up the apparent
usability or the aesthetic aspect of
the interface. Out next study will
focus on the determinants of the
aesthetic evahration of the
interke.
REFERENCE
1. Kashimum, K. ad Kurosu, M.
The structure of the semen design
ad the cognitive prows (3).
Paper presented at 58th Japanese
Psychological Association, 1994
7.0
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r=O.59 (N:252
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av=5.8 m20 ~19
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5’.0 5:5 6:0 6:5 7
Beautiful
Fig.1 Correlation between two kinds of judgments
for 26 layout samples.
High Usability Score and
Low Beauty Score (No.6) High Usability Score and
High Beauty Score (No.23)
Low Usability Score and
Low Beauty Score (No.17)
Fig.2 Typical sample layouts.
Low Usability !2cere and
High Beauty Score (No.13)
293
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Therefore, the present review aims to analyze human neuroaesthetic processing of UX and UI designs and explore these developments in the visual interaction field. There are some differences between UX and UI designs, and UI is one of the interaction factors of UX; UX focuses on the entire experience concept or user journey towards a project, whereas UI is related to the visual format, such as animation and color selection [5]. For example, creative artistic therapy brain painting is a type of UX journey [6], but website interface aesthetic design is a type of UI design. The scope of the UX in the present study is focused on visual interaction experience. It covers many fields, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, art therapy, education, game design, public art, UI design, and information visualization. These fields strongly rely on visual content, and aesthetic processing and neuroaesthetics play essential roles here. 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Usually, there are five bands, alpha, beta, theta, gamma, and delta; lower theta is associated with better UX design, and alpha is active with beautiful images [12]. These experimental methods can be implemented using brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), which are communication systems where people interact with external devices solely using brain activity [13]. The third professional method is to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study brain activation when looking at beautiful objects; the bilateral insular cortex shows a strong response in facially and morally ugly conditions [14]. Event-related potential, time-frequency, and topography methods have been focused on evaluating visual aesthetic processing and can contribute to UX and UI, as discussed in this review article. The main significance and contributions of this study are as follows:(i)Summary of the scientific aesthetic judgment through event-related potential, time-frequency, topography, and fMRI technology(ii)Finding the potential interactive methods to stimulate visual nerve and enhance the quality of user experience through artistic BCI(iii)Understanding and mastery of the brain data analysis and technology of aesthetic judgment on visual interaction projects(iv)Description of the contributions of aesthetic appreciation models related to the visual UX and UI designs(v)Discussion of the advantages and disadvantages, limitations, and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis of subjective and objective evaluations on visual interaction projects The novelty of this review is that it makes the connection between neuroaesthetics, user experience design, and visual interaction develop the quality of future interactive projects through scientific aesthetic appreciation approaches. Therefore, the present review has two main research questions. What aspects of aesthetic processing affect user interaction and user interface design? How do current researchers use noninvasive brain neurophysiology technology to understand visual biofeedback on UX and UI designs? The following sections explore the research review around these research questions: Section 2 describes the methods for finding relevant papers on aesthetic processing with UI and UX designs. Section 2.8.3 describes two neuroaesthetic models, top-down and bottom-up analysis. Section 3 discusses the comprehensive current studies on the uses of event-related potential (ERP), electroencephalograph (EEG), and fMRI for brain region analysis and the data that can aid in understanding the current aesthetic processing of UX and UI designs and in forecasting future developments. Section 3.11 summarizes all related research papers that developed UX and UI designs, including BCI paradigms, descriptions, participant information, and apparatus. It also involves the SWOT analysis. Section 4 discusses the advantages and disadvantages, literature comparisons with previous studies, and appropriate usage of brain technology in the visual interaction field. Section 5 contains conclusions. 2. Methodology The research method of this review is similar to the traditional literature review process. Although the systematic literature review is well defined, it was not used in our research because systematic literature reviews rely on a clear purpose and objective at the beginning of the research [15]. For this review, we read many articles and explored the relationship between brain aesthetic appreciation and human-computer interaction, which requires comprehensive understanding and wide reading knowledge to determine a meaningful topic. The traditional literature review process is creative and appropriate to explore a new topic in a review study and is suitable for a study that has not been strictly defined [16]. After wide reading, we used XMind software to draw a mind mapping figure and find the relationship within the research materials. However, future researchers can use a systematic literature review to explore higher research quality based on this review’s research findings. The electronic search for research material in this state-of-the-art review was conducted as follows: First, we typed the keywords to collect papers from the following search engines [17]: IEEE Explore, Springer, Elsevier, Frontiers, Taylor & Francis Online, Hindawi, Google Scholar, and ScienceDirect. 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