Mobile Web Browsing: Usability Stud. Categories and Subject Descriptors. General Terms

Страницы работы

Содержание работы

Mobile Web Browsing: Usability Study

Buckinghamshire Chilterns University

College, High Wycombe Campus

Queen Alexandra Road

High Wycombe, HP11 2JZ, UK



The mobile phones are increasingly used to access different kind of information other than just to make voice calls. However, browsing large web pages which is not adapted for small-screen viewing is still very inconvenient. Web browsers are emerging which try to solve the interaction problems that occur when small-screen devices are used to access web pages designed for large screen viewing. This paper presents the results of the usability study in which users mobile web browsing experience was evaluated in comparison to desktop Web browsing. The results indicate the users performance was poor  on mobile browser as users expected similar experience as on desktop; however for some users as users expected similar experience as on desktop; however for some users familiarity of web on desktop helped instead to navigate easily on mobile browser. The main problem participants had was difficulty of locating the content in long narrow page, which in turn caused extensive scrolling. This research suggests some improvement for mobile web browser and important consideration in designing mobile friendly websites that could help limit a lot of scrolling and increase the readability.

Categories and Subject Descriptors

D.3.3 [Information Interfaces and Presentation]: User Interfaces evaluation/methodology.

General Terms

Measurement, Performance, Design, Experimentation, Human



Internet, web browsing, mobile usability, evaluation.


Nowadays, mobile devices are used to access all sorts of information and are becoming a major means of accessing the web. The mobile devices and wireless technology are being upgraded and thus providing variety of functionalities with better service. However, regardless of increasing quality of displays, their small display size limits their ability to convey information adequately in comparison to desktop computers. Even though the

Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, or republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

MC'07 (Mobility'07), September 10-12, 2007, Singapore. Copyright 2007 ACM 978-1-59593-819-0.….…$5.00

number of small Internet enabled mobile devices are growing rapidly, not all web sites today cater to mobile visitors, instead, optimizing their content exclusively for desktop clients. Thus, as W3C Director and Web creator Tim Berners-Lee said “Mobile access to the Web has been a second class experience for far too long [12].

Whereas people using the web tend to engage in open-ended, exploratory behaviors, mobile devices are intended to support task-specific use [1]. On the mobile web, usually users are presented with personalized portal at front which allows finding specific information. But, as Virpi Roto highlighted [25], many people have no experience on mobile sites, but on PC web sites only. Their favorite sites might not provide a mobile version of the site, or they do not know the address for the mobile site. They need to have access to the real full web, even if large pages are not highly usable on small screens. Now, it is indeed possible to use web browser and search systems in mobile devices as well, which take standard content and adapt it to make it presentable for handheld access. However, in adapting the content, the way user experiences the information will be very different from the way originally intended by the designer [13] as original design may be inconsistent in mobile web. Exploring any search result on small screen can be a tedious and frustrating task as well.

Rich internet applications using technology such as flash and AJAX are brining better user experience to our desktop. With the availability of very high-speed broadband and wider flat screens, browsing and interaction on the desktop is simply very convenient and user experience is far more enjoyable and pleasant, whereas mobile web browsing requires effort from user to make sense of the content. However, although there are usability constrains, cheap and durable mobile devices have added flexibility in web browsing by providing users with possibility of accessing readily available information from anywhere. But, as the satisfying user experience is a major factor in successful mobile web browsing, this evaluation aims to investigate the effect on user experience by the way the content is presented in mobile devices compared to desktop browsing.

Похожие материалы

Информация о работе