Investigation of the process of learning touch-screen mobile applications.

Tokarova, L. & Weideman

Published Online

Tokarova, L. & Weideman, M. 2013. Investigation of the process of learning touch-screen mobile applications. Working Paper. Online:

With the recent expansion of the mobile industry, applications for mobile devices are quickly becoming more complex, empowering people to perform more advanced tasks. However, current mobile user interfaces introduce several challenges, such as direct manipulation, gesture control, solely visual feedback, or limited screen size. These factors affect the learnability of mobile applications. The primary objective of this research project is to investigate how people learn to use mobile applications and how this process can be supported. This needs to be done so that people can perceive the value of the application, accomplish basic tasks and gradually learn new features in a natural way. A pilot study will consist of observation of users' behavior in the context of skill acquisition within mobile user interfaces. Patterns in users' behavior and links between behavior and background information will be investigated. It is anticipated that the study will demonstrate the correlation between learning strategies and personal information about users. The results of this study will aid in creating learning profiles of representative user groups. Further examination of these profiles should lead to the design of support mechanisms that will encourage various types of application learners in the process of continuous learning of mobile applications.
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