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Insights for the TV Interface from the Mobile Phone Interface

Younghwan Pan and Young Sam Ryu

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 4, Issue 4, May 2009, pp. 166-177

Article Contents


The motivation of the comparison between mobile phones and TV is to provide insights for TV user interface designers and industry from the lessons learned and literature studies of mobile interface researchers and industry. It was shown that user interface design elements for both TV and mobile phones were comparable, and the experience with the mobile interface will be an important source for TV interface design. Also, because most mobile users are also TV viewers, the user experience of mobile phones affects the user experience of TV and vice versa. Thus, consistency and coordination across products will be important design factors for the TV interface.

The user experience is an integrated one affected by both manufacturers and service providers and operators. The combined user interfaces optimized by each organizational entity may not necessarily be the global optimum. As the cooperative design of mobile interfaces by manufacturers and service providers has become a new key for the success of mobile services, the cooperative design of the TV interface by manufacturers and service providers will be a valuable process for the success of digital TV services. For example, newly released TVs in the market have started to feature stock, news, and weather services built-in by manufacturers. This service may not be compatible with the remote interface of service operators using set-top boxes.

In summary, the following are general recommendations for user interface researchers:


In this paper, we reviewed the service structure, needs analysis, user interface model, and interaction analysis for both the TV and mobile phone. Due to the increasing use of EPG, DVR, and PPV services, text input for TV interface will be inevitable and jumping interaction will remain as the main interaction for TV. Based on the success or failure of various input devices for mobile phones, a prediction of new input devices for TV interface was presented. Also, because the service structure for both TV and mobile services are comparable, cooperative design by TV manufacturers and service operators will be essential for the success of advanced interactive TV services.

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