Detecting usability problems in mobile applications on the basis of dissimilarity in user behavior

Jong Wook Jeong, Neung Hoe Kim, Hoh Peter In

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Usability is one of the critical success factors for mobile applications. However, usability is not easy to improve. Many usability testing studies have been conducted to detect usability problems easily, however they usually carry a substantial cost and require specific expertise. In this paper, we present methods and tools to detect usability problems effectively via usability testing in mobile application. We expect users to interact with mobile applications in dissimilar ways when encountering usability problems. Based on this approach, we propose tracing, modeling and comparing methods for measuring the similarity of user behaviors. We evaluate the similarity of user behavior and use it in detecting problems. In addition, we developed tools for our methods to run in automatic way to save usability testing costs. An experiment was conducted using two mobile applications to confirm that our proposed method is useful. We tested eight tasks and found lower similarity when users encountered a usability problem. The experimental results show that our methods and tools can help find usability problems in mobile applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102364
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul


  • Behavior modeling
  • Usability
  • Usability testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education
  • General Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture


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