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A simple method to record keystrokes on mobile phones and other devices for usability evaluations

In: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Toronto, Canada; DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-40409-7_41

Authors: Brian T. W. Lin, Paul A. Green

Task times, sometimes at the keystroke level, as well as the number of keystrokes are often used to assess the usefulness and ease of use of mobile devices. This paper describes a new method to obtain keystroke-level timing of tasks involving Virtual Network Computing (VNC) and Techsmith Morae (commonly used for usability tests). Running VNC, the PC mimics what the mobile device does, which is recorded by Morae running on the PC. To evaluate this configuration, 24 pairs of subjects texted 1,200 messages concerning five topics to each other. Every keystroke was recorded and timed to the nearest 10 ms. As desired, the communications were quite stable, with times of 90 % of the messages on the two recording computers being normally distributed and within ± 100 ms of each other. Others are encouraged to use this method, given its accuracy and low cost, to examine mobile device usability.

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