upa - home page JUS - Journal of usability studies
An international peer-reviewed journal

Introduction

Avi Parush
Journal of Usability Studies - Editor

 

Welcome to the second issue of volume 5 of JUS!

Our invited editorial is written by Daryle Gardner-Bonneau, one of the more experienced and respected professionals in the general area of humans and technology. In her editorial titled: “Is Technology Becoming More Usable—or Less—and With What Consequences?” she is raising a familiar but still difficult question. The issue of technology becoming more and more complex, yet not necessarily more usable, is an age old challenge. But the more pervasive it becomes, the more of a challenge it is to human factors and usability professionals. Daryle Gardner-Bonneau is wondering: “I am beginning to wonder just how effective both professions—human factors and usability (if they are, indeed, different)—have been in the larger scheme of things, when more and more of our population seems to struggle with technology.” One of her main messages to us is to “have a much bigger impact than we seem to be having.”

The first peer-reviewed article addresses the reliability of self-reported awareness measures commonly used in usability testing. In the article titled: “Reliability of Self-Reported Awareness Measures Based on Eye Tracking”, William Albert and Donna Tedesco approach this question by using eye movements as a possible reflection of the postulated mind-eye link. The good news are that according to this study we can rely on self-reported awareness measures such as noticing an element or remembering what one did. Another important practical take-away is that the scale resolution plays a role in the reliability of getting the self-reported awareness.

The second peer-review article deals with the challenge of making privacy and security devices more usable. Young Sam Ryu, Do Hyong Koh, Brad L. Aday, Xavier A. Gutierrez, and John D. Platt offer a “Usability Evaluation of Randomized Keypad” as one of the proposed ways to reduce the possibility of detecting someone keying their PIN according to the conventional numeric keypad layout. They found that using the randomized keypad is more difficult, but nevertheless can be used for shorter PINs such as those having only four digits.