Usability study of word processing applications on different mobile devices
Educators and learners are making more use of technology in education, however, personal computers (PC’s) are still expensive, and many developing countries do not have the resources to implement computer systems in educational institutions. Creating and editing documents is an important component for students to perform in their studies. A preliminary questionnaire showed that students still prefer to use the PC for reading and writing, however, reading and writing is starting to be done more frequently on mobile devices such as mobile phones as these are more readily available. Technology is being used more frequently to write and existing research shows there are numerous issues regarding the usability of the current mobile tools to achieve this. Therefore, there is a need to study the usability of mobile word processing applications on different mobile devices. The literature review reveals that usability studies have been performed on health and e-learning applications, however, no study has looked at the usability of reading and writing on word processing applications on mobile devices. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate usability issues of word processing applications on different mobile devices. Two usability studies are set up; the first study determines the usability of mobile word processing applications and the second study determines the usability of mobile devices. The applications chosen for the first study include, Google Docs, Microsoft Word and WPS Writer. Participants were chosen to perform specific tasks on each mobile application and mobile device. The results were measured in terms of usability. The results of the studies were collected using usability test procedures which include quantitative and qualitative measures. The problems experienced by the user found in the studies were mapped to the generic guidelines from literature for verification. The usability issues of different mobile devices were investigated in terms of creating and editing documents in the word processing applications. The results from Study 1 showed that the best available word processing application is Google Docs. Google Docs is the best application since the participants could perform the tasks in less time and with fewer errors than Microsoft Word and WPS Writer. This resulted in users rating Google Docs easier to use than Microsoft Word and WPS Writer. The results from Study 2 showed that the Samsung Galaxy Tab A is the best available mobile device to create and edit documents when seated at a desk. The device has the largest screen size which makes it more user friendly when creating documents, however, due to the large size of the device, it is more practical to use it at a desk. If a user is not at a desk and is therefore mobile, then the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is the best device to use since the device has the fastest processor and largest screen size of the smartphone devices tested.
- Engineering