Study of Input Strategies for Handheld Devices Among the ElderlyBy Shen, Jiaying; Vanderheiden, Gregg; 2003 International Conference on Aging, Disability, and Independence, pp. 191-192
Publication Date: May 2004
Study conducted to investigate the relationship between input strategies and user performance of portable telecommunication equipment when used by older people. The project specifically examined the effect of keyboards versus touch screens on dialing speed and accuracy, as well as user performance. Twenty-four older people with a mean age of seventy participated in the study. The participants were asked to dial six 10-digit phone numbers using three dialing techniques: (1) key panel, (2) touch screen with stylus, and (3) touch screen with finger. The participants were also asked to perform basic menu tasks, such as looking up a name and changing the phone number on two different wireless phones. Quantitative results are displayed in table format, and indicate that 48 percent of the participants preferred the keypad input, followed by 36 percent who used the touch screen with a stylus. Sixteen percent preferred using the touch screen with a finger. Eighty percent of the participants rated the touch screen phone menu as the simplest to use, while fifty-eight percent thought the touch screen input as superior when compared to the keypad input. The authors contend that three factors could have contributed to user preference for the keypad for dialing tasks: (1) the popularity of the keypad, (2) the button characteristics, and (3) imperfections in the touch screen technology.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology for Successful Aging (RERC-Tech-Aging) (Website:http://www.phhp.ufl.edu/centers/rerc.htm)