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Usability Evaluation of Email Applications by Blind Users

Brian Wentz and Jonathan Lazar

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 6, Issue 2, February 2011, pp. 75 - 89

Article Contents


Overall Trends

Table 3 illustrates the percentage of successful task completion for each task in each email application. It is important to note that tasks 16 and 17 (adding and deleting calendar appointments) held the lowest overall performance for task completion. Outlook Express faired the most favorably for task completion, with a mean of 91%. Yahoo Mail ranked the lowest with a mean of 35% for task completion.

Task 12 (sending a new email message to a contact in the email address book) took users the most amount of time with a mean of 281.1 seconds (or 4.7 minutes). Across all tasks, Yahoo Mail Classic once again held the worst time performance with a mean of 231 seconds (or 3.9 minutes). Outlook Express also again displayed the best time performance with a mean of 59.7 seconds (approximately 1 minute) per task.

Outlook Express has no data for tasks 15-17 because it does not include a calendar feature. Also, Gmail and Yahoo Mail Classic have no time data for several tasks, which means that for some tasks, no participants were able to successfully complete them. Web-based email applications had lower rates of successful task completion than desktop email applications, with a mean of 54% task completion compared to 78% for the desktop email applications. The web-based applications also took users much longer to complete a task, with a mean of 173.9 seconds per task compared to 108 seconds per task shown by the desktop email applications.

Table 3. Mean Percentage of Task Completion and Mean/SD (in seconds) for Successful Tasks

Table 3

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