Evaluating the Usability of Location Awareness Applications in Wireless Devices

G. Al-Qaimari (UAE) and S. Fernando (Australia)


WAP, LBS, wireless applications, mobile devices, user interface design, usability testing


Our study investigates the usability and utility of Location Based Services (LBS) and their effect on Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) applications. In particular we evaluate the effect of using LBS on the interaction design, task structure, user perception, user satisfaction, efficiency and utility of a train timetabling prototype application. The system consists of two components: one that emulates a LBS enhanced system and the other that does not. We conducted a within-subjects comparison of the usability of a wireless application over a Nokia-style mobile phone interface with and without location-based services. The users were asked to retrieve information pertaining to travel time and destinations, fare prices and ticket outlets. We found that LBS functionality does enhance the WAP applications by overcoming some of the limitations associated with WAP.

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