Evaluation of common input devices for web browsing: mouse vs touchpad vs touchscreen

Andrej Maleckar, Matjaž Kljun, Peter Rogelj, Klen Čopič Pucihar
University of Primorska, FAMNIT, Glagoljaška 8, Koper, Slovenia

Abstract: With the ever increasing connectivity to the Internet the use of the web has spread from static environments of desktop computers to mobile context where we interact with the web though laptop computers, tablet computers, mobile phones and wearable devices. Recent studies have shown that young people access the web using various devices and input techniques and spend on average more than 20 hours a week on the web. In this paper we plan to investigate which input technology is most usable or preferred for performing different tasks on the web. We decided to compare and evaluate the usability of the three most used input devices for web browsing, namely: a computer mouse and a touchpad on a laptop, and a touchscreen on a smartphone. For this purpose we have built a custom web page where users had to perform seven common tasks on web: open a URL address, copy/paste a URL address, copy/paste text, scroll up-down, scroll left-right, zoom in the context of a web page, and navigate a map. The results show that the mouse is still a preferred input device with shortest completion times, followed by the touchscreen interface even if it performed slower at some tasks compared to touchpad, which was marked as least preferred.


Full paper: link

Improving the usability of online usability surveys with an interactive Stripe scale

Matevž Pesek, Alja Isakovic, Gregor Strle, Matija Marolt
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Computer and Information Science, Laboratory for Computer graphics and Multimedia, Večna Pot 113, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Abstract: The paper introduces Stripe, an interactive continuous scale for online surveys that makes it easy to compare multiple answers on a single screen. The Stripe is evaluated as an alternative to the n-point Likert scale, which is commonly used in online usability questionnaires like the System Usability Scale (SUS). The paper presents the results of a user study, which confirmed the validity of results gained with the proposed Stripe interface by applying both the Stripe and the Likert interface to an online SUS questionnaire. Additionally, the results of our study show that the participants favor the Stripe interface in terms of intuitiveness and ease of use, and even perceive the Stripe interface as less time consuming than the standard Likert scaled interface based on radio buttons.


Full paper: link

Redesign of Slovenian Avalanche Bulletin

Vanja Blažica, Janez Jaka Cerar, Aleš Poredoš
Slovenian Environment Agency, Vojkova 1b, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Abstract: We present the redesign of the Slovenian avalanche bulletin, published regularly during the winter season to warn against avalanche danger and to provide specific information for advanced users. The former version included an estimation of danger on a scale from one to five with supporting text for the whole country, while the new one offers an additional graphical description, specified for several geographical regions. The redesign profoundly influenced the work of avalanche forecasters by introducing a new interface, additional input and database storage. At the same time, users welcomed the additional information, international comparability and user friendliness of the new bulletin.


Full paper: link

Join us @ HCI-IS 2014

Pursuing our goal to bring together Slovenian HCI researchers and practitioners, we announce our 3rd event: the Human-Computer Interaction in Information Society 2014 conference. HCI-IS will take place in Ljubljana in October as part of the Information Society 2014 multiconference.

The conference is open to all HCI researchers, practitioners and enthusiasts. Don’t miss out the following dates:

  • Paper Submission: May, 12, 2014
  • Notification of Acceptance: June, 9, 2014
  • Camera Ready Submission: July, 1, 2014
  • Conference: 6 – 10 October 2014 (HCI-IS will take place on Wednesday  the 8th)

Find out more about the conference here or check guidelines for authors here.

World Usability Day Slovenia 2013

World Usability Day Slovenia 2013 solicits submissions in a broad range of categories,
addressing all aspects of human-computer interaction. Authors are welcome to submit
submissions in the form of short research papers; workshop and tutorial proposals;
industrial reports; interactive experience posters; and organizational overviews.
The conference will be held from the 26th
to 29th

November in Ljubljana and Maribor. So far confirmed esteemed keynote speakers:

  • Dr. Geraldine Fitzpatrick,
    Head of Human Computer Interaction Group at Vienna University of Technology
  • Dr. Leena Arhippainen,
    User experience researcher at Center for Internet Excellence
  • Dr. David Geerts,
    Research Manager at Centre for User Experience Research, K.U.Leuven
  • Dr. Björn Stockleben,
    Coordinator MA Cross Media – Management at University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal
  • Ville Kairamo,
    Head of Demola and Protomo

More on event can be found in Call for Paper.

ITS 2013

As a researcher and a HCI enthusiast, I have always wanted to attend a major HCI conference. This year, I have been given an opportunity to visit one. As the CHI 2013, was already over by then, I have searched for other similar conferences and found UIST (User interface Software and Technology) 2013, which turned to be probably even a better choice, given my technical background. Even better, the conference was organized together with one of its offsprings, the ITS (Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces) 2013. So I immediately registered and a month later I have visited St. Andrews in Scotland for both of them. The first conference to take place was ITS 2013, so this blog post will be dedicated to it. I will write a separate post for the UIST 2013.

As the name already makes it clear, the ITS is all about interactive (more or less touch) surfaces. Mostly big surfaces, although there has also been some discussions about mobile devices. The invited speaker was Jeff Han of the Perceptive Pixel (now acquired by Microsoft), which was even more appropriate, as his viral TED talk was more or less the thing that got me into the entire multi-touch table business. He talked about his story, the rise of multi-touch displays and how to start a hardware start-up.


Jeff Han at ITS 2013

The conference was quite diverse, I was amazed by what kind of crazy ideas do people get. This also got me thinking that the ITS community is quite open-minded (something that I cannot say for most of the computer vision community, that I am observing more frequently). I have yet to empirically verify this observation by submitting a paper, as the acceptance rate is quite low. I will only mention some ideas that really got me interested:

  • Using a knife and fork analogy for two finger gestures
  • A HTML5 development framework for multi-touch surfaces
  • Perceptual grouping and selection of elements
  • Combining surfaces with NFC communication
  • Investigating piano accords to design multi-touch menus
  • Textile displays
  • Latency estimation for interactive displays

The demo session had more than a dozen different technologies, from prototypes to devices that you can (in theory at least) actually buy. The second generation of Microsoft PixelSense was cool, as well as a three-display Multitaction setup by MultiTouch Ltd. from Finland. There were also some other more wacky ideas, like a water-based display that I do not see beyond a very wet prototype, however, they show (in my opinion at least) the openness of the community. Anyway, here are some photos.