The Effect of Age and Screen Sizes on the Usability of Smartphones Based on Handwriting of English Words on the Touchscreen

suleyman Ayed Al-Showarah, Sherin Salem


Abstract. The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of age and screen sizes on the usability of smartphones based on touchscreen. With a total of 42 participants, we compared usability between two age groups [younger (20-39 years) and elderly (60+ years)] and two screen sizes [small (3.5”) and large (7”)]. Each participant was requested to write 10 English words using their finger on the touchscreen, with finger movement time (MT) and finger pressure (FP) as measures of usability. Elderly participants exhibited significantly longer MT, indicating less efficiency, but there were no significant differences in FP between the two age groups. Small screen sizes led to significantly harder FP, indicating less sensitivity, but there were no significant differences in MT between the two screen sizes. Given these results, designers should consider the response efficiency of elderly users and response sensitivity to small screen sizes in order to increase usability.


Mobile computing; elderly; usability; smartphones; human-computer interaction.

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