A Case Study of Research through the App Store: Leveraging the System UI as a Playing Field for Improving the Design of Smartphone Launchers
Matthias Böhmer; Antonio Krüger
In: International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction (IJMHCI), Vol. 6, No. 2, Pages 32-45, IGI Global, 2014.
With a growing number of mobile applications available on application stores and the improved capabilities of smartphones, people download more applications to their devices. Researchers began to leverage this momentum for distributing applications to conduct studies on end-users' devices. This paper grounds the approach of research through the application store in the theory of quasi-experimental design. Further, with people having more applications installed, finding applications quickly when they need them can become a time-consuming issue that impacts user experience. This paper presents our approach to improve future design of smartphone launcher menus. The authors present our approach of combining research through the app store with the idea of studying people's smartphones as the apparatus themselves. Therefore the authors designed a game that takes advantage of the user's smartphone itself as a field of play. By timing a simple visual search task for an icon, the authors aim to deduce how well a user knows where he can find his applications, and thus how well he can build a mental model of his smartphone launcher menu. The authors introduce our approach, present the game rappidly that serves as a vehicle of our research question, and discuss open challenges and future work.