Identifying the Characteristics of Usability That Encourage Prolonged Use of an Activity Monitor
Dhawale, Poonam Pushkar
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Together with the use of rapid prototyping techniques and efforts to reduce the production cost, wearable and mobile electronic devices brought to the market faster than ever, with less time spent on actual usability testing of these devices for prolonged use. Due to this, the usability lifespan of such electronic devices has reduced significantly where consumers might be moving or upgrading on to using newer electronic devices more often than they really need to. Therefore, this paper focuses on identifying key characteristics of usability that may encourage prolonged use of an activity-monitoring device. Secondary goal was to observe and record any user acceptance and/or usability issues that may arise from using an activity monitor over a prolonged period. In this research, an intensive study was undertaken using ethnographic methods of enquiry to improve the rigor of the study. In general, ethnography rests upon participant observation, a methodology whereby the researcher spends considerable time observing and interacting with a social group. The researcher analyzed the face-to-face interviews? video recordings and collected field notes repeatedly according to the coding rules devised using open-coding methodology. Later on, the researcher formed a generic thematic analysis based schema to analyze the coded data. In this thesis, the researcher has successfully conducted the research and identified six usability characteristics that played crucial role in encouraging prolonged use of an activity-monitoring device among adult users in New Zealand. These six identified characteristics of usability were display screen, lightweight, long battery life, multipurpose, social engagement and easy to carry/wear. In addition, this thesis covers the observed user acceptance and usability issues that may have arisen from using an activity monitor over a prolonged period.