CSC News

January 26, 2015

Improving Usability and Eliminating Errors in Mobile Touch Interfaces

Dr. Robert St. Amant, associate professor, and Dr. Emerson Murphy-Hill, assistant professor, in the Computer Science Department at NC State University, have been awarded $281,076 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support their research proposal entitled “EAGER:  Cognitive Modeling of Strategies for Dealing with Errors in Mobile Touch Interfaces.”
The award will run from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2016. 
Abstract – Touch interfaces on mobile phones and tablets are notoriously error prone in use. One plausible reason for slow progress in improving usability is that research and design efforts in HCI take a relatively narrow focus on isolating and eliminating human error. We take a different perspective: failure represents breakdowns in adaptations directed at coping with complexity. The key to improved usability is understanding the factors that contribute to both expertise and its breakdown. We propose to develop cognitive models of strategies for touch interaction. Our research will examine the detailed interactions between users perceptual, cognitive, and motor processes in recognizing, recovering from, and avoiding errors in touch interfaces. Our proposal is for three stages of research: exploratory experiments, analysis and modeling, and finally validation experiments.
For more information on Dr. St. Amant, click here.
For more information on Dr. Murphy-Hill, click here.

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