If The User Can'T Find The Function, It Isn'T There: Usability Of Digital Cameras For Novice Use


A prototype digital camera was designed to make setting menu preferences easier for novice users. Twenty-eight individuals (14M/14F) who had no prior experience using digital cameras participated in this study. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions (current camera or prototype camera). Three measures of usability (performance time on task, number of errors committed, and ease of use) were recorded. Each participant completed four tasks to assess the usability of common digital camera tasks (change picture quality, change date/time setting, 'zoom in' on an object, and delete a photo). Performance time and the number of errors committed improved significantly for one task (date/time setting), while the other three tasks assessed showed a similar trend, although not significant. Ease of use was significantly improved for two tasks, while overall ease of use for the prototype camera showed an increase in subjective usability over the current camera. Thus, the design changes implemented in the prototype camera significantly improved some aspects of usability, and showed a positive trend across all measures of usability.

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Publication Title

Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

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Document Type

Article; Proceedings Paper

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Socpus ID

0442279455 (Scopus)

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