A new approach to analyse human-mobile computer interaction


This paper describes a tool for log file recording and a method for quickly and easily analysing human-computer interaction with mobile devices. The tool logs screenshots and quantitative interaction data, such as number of clicks and timestamps. The analysing tool provides the ability to evaluate the interaction sequences and to export an MS Excel®-sheet for statistical analysis. To evaluate the tool, a usability study was conducted comparing the effectiveness of this tool in the laboratory and in the mobile context. Findings show that the tool is the first step toward a very effective, unobtrusive analysing method for user interaction in the mobile context. Combined with debriefing methods, it would be an optimized way for usability testing with mobile devices.

Practitioner’s Take Away

The following ideas for a practitioner came out of this research:

  • Evaluate mobile usability in the field with unobtrusive methods.
  • Avoid thinking aloud method for field testing.
  • Use remote mobile usability testing for gaining practical relevant usability data.
  • Implement log file analysis if it is possible for detecting problems in interaction structure.
  • Combine objective data with subjective methods, e.g., confronting the user with captured screenshots (video confrontation).
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