New publication: A Participatory Design and Formal Study Investigation into Mobile Text Entry for Older Adults

Text entry remains key to many tasks on touchscreen smartphones and is an important factor in the usability of such devices. The known problems of text entry can be particularly acute for older adults due to physical and cognitive issues associated with ageing. In a study of mobile text entry the authors employed a variety of participatory design and formal comparative study techniques in order to explore the requirements of this group of users and to discover the key differences in texting activity between them and younger users of mobile devices. They report on the findings of a lab study of texting behaviour of older adults. The authors' findings indicate differences in attitudes to texting styles and tasks between older and younger adults. They also identify some differences in typing behaviour and reflect on methods.

Nicol, E., Komninos A., & Dunlop M. D. (2016).  A Participatory Design and Formal Study Investigation into Mobile Text Entry for Older Adults. International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction. 8(2), 20–46., IGI Global. DOI:10.4018/ijmhci.2016040102.oa
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Using 3D audio for navigation in Android

I have uploaded the code for our SoNav prototype on Github, for any researchers interested in building 3D audio navigation apps for Android.

The prototype uses the concept of an "audio scent" - after a route has been calculated for the user, the route "emits" a continuous sound which the user can perceive using 3D audio delivered by their headphones. As the user walks further from the route, the level of the audio diminishes to let them know they have strayed too far.

Using mobile app usage data to inform the planning of urban infrastructure in public transport systems

As a technical consultant to the municipality of Patras (Greece), I have been involved in the planning and deployment of a public transport information system, including vehicle telematics, intelligent signage and public-facing mobile and web apps. My role in the project was to build the project specifications and monitor the project progress on behalf of the city.