Evaluation of eBook User Interfaces by the University Students: A Case Study Dr. Chennupati K. Ramaiah MSc (Meerut), MLISc (Delhi), PhD (Loughborough), MACM, MASIST, MCLIP, FSIS Professor & Head, Dept. of Library and Information Science, Pondicherry University, R.V. Nagar, Kalapet, PUDUCHERRY – 605 014. Email: email@example.com
Samsung-S8500-Wave-Bada vs. LG-Optimus-Android
Touch screen vs. iPhoneLG KM900 Arena Mobile Phone
What is HCI?• The study of all aspects of how people interact with computer hardware and software Social and Ergonomics• It is multidisciplinary Cognitive organizational and human Psychology psychology factors Engineering Computer science Design HCI Artificial Intelligence Anthropology Linguistics Philosophy Sociology
Why is HCI important?• Computer technology is pervasive (how many computers have you interacted with today?)• Issues of – efficiency – frustration – economy – health – safety
Historical DevelopmentsMEMEX• In 1945, Bush published an article on’’As we may think’’: “A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanised so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory (Bush, 1945, p. 7)”.
Historical DevelopmentsProf. Andy van Dam• The term ’’eBook’’ was coined by Andy van Dam over 40 years ago• Working nearly four decades on systems for creating and reading eBooks with interactive illustrations for use in teaching and research.Alan Kay developed Dynabook in 1968’’Dynabook’’ , a precursor of today’s modern notebook computers.Dynabook is a notebook with a million-pixel screen, 8 processors, both wireless and wired networkingDynabook is “a portable interactive personal computer, as accessible as a book’’ - http://www.artmuseum.net/w2vr/archives/Kay/01_Dynabook.html
Historical DevelopmentsApple HyperCard in 1989 – Bill AtkinsonSteve Jobs, 2011 – Portable eBook readersProject Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.net/) - Dr Michael Hart, University of Illinois stated in 1971.• He produced an ASCII version of the ’’Declaration of Independence’’ and sent it to everyone on the networks.• In 1990s NuvoMedia’s Rocket EBook and SoftBook Press’ SoftBook Reader were introduced.Why eBooks?• Book circulation in Research Libraries decreased between 20-30% in the past few years.• Users using p-books as last resort, they prefer to use e-content for research in all forms.
Features of eBooks• The layout of a print book or a PDF will always be the same.• eBooks main purpose is to be read on an eReader.• eBooks have different internal structure, and are meant to be manipulated.• Unlike a printed book, an eBook is “flexible, can be manipulated in many ways.• Users can choose their own font, size, colour, increase line spacing, margins, as well as line spacing and "page" margin can be changed by the reader.• Screen size affects how many words appear on the screen at a time, because of this "flowing" nature of the text in an eBook,• Each screen or "page" of text will never have a set page number.• eBook will change and "re-shape" itself with every adjustment the reader makes.
eBook File Formats Features Embed Intera Word ded Filename DRM Image Table Sound ctivity Open Book- Video Format wrap annotat extension support support support support suppo standard marking support support ion rt supportDjVu .djvu ? Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes ? Yes/No Yes/No[f Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes[f 2]EPUB (IDPF) .epub [f 1] 1] Yes/No[f No Yes No No Yes Yes YesFictionBook .fb2 3] ? ?HTML .html No Yes Yes Yes[f 4] No Yes Yes No No Yes[f 5] Yes[f Yes Yes Yes[f 6] Yes[f 7] Yes Yes No Yes Yes 8]Kindle .azwMSReader .lit Yes Yes ? No No Yes No ? Yes ? .prc, Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes YesMobipocket .mobi ?Multimedia .exe Yes Yes ? Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes ?EBookeReader .pdb Yes Yes ? No No Yes No Yes Yes ?Plain text .txt No No No No No Yes Yes No No NoPlucker .pdb Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes ? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes[f9]PDF .pdfPostScript .ps No Yes ? No No No Yes ? ? ?Tome Raider .tr2, .tr3 Yes Yes ? No No Yes No ? ? ?
eBook Reading Devices eBook Reading Devices GEB1150 - successor to Compaq iPAQ PDA the Rocket ebook from Gemstar (Show own PDA in demo)• Gemstar/RCA REB 1100 & 1200• Franklin eBookMan• goReader• Hiebook• Palm, Visor, & Pocket PC• Cell Phones (e.g., Kyocera)• Franklin eBookMan• EPOC• Gemstar Rocket eBook McGraw Hill eBook• Handheld PC• Hiebook Growth eBooks (ref: IDPF)• Macintosh• Palm • 2007 half million eBooks• Pocket PC • 2008 three fourths million eBooks• Windows CE • 2008 one million eBooks• Windows PC• Windows Tablet
Various types of eBook Readers How to read the content?Too many formats, lack of international standard.
What is an User Interface?• Books - Characteristics• eBooks: User interface plays a central role between the user and any computer application including in eBooks.• eBook user interface is a screen through which user interacts with the book.• It is a blended mix of all the interface elements like pull-down menus, icons, navigation options and graphics etc., offers better interface for the user.
Purpose of eBook UIs Evaluation• Diverse cognitive and perceptual abilities, personality differences, cultural and international diversity of the users differ from each other because of various age groups, subjects backgrounds, professions etc.• It helps in understanding what the users really wants to do and how they can do it easily.• To know their likes and dislikes and level of acceptance with regard to various features of eBook user interface.• It will ensure whether the created design matches to the user expectations or not.• Evaluation tests the acceptability, usability and functionality of interactive system.• To identify the best useful features to be incorporated in the eBook design from the users perspective.• The goal of evaluation is to identify specific problems with the design.
Todays UIs are that simple!Night reading facility A reader sees when searching on the Nook iPad app
Aim and Objectives of the Study• The aim of the study is to evaluate the users’ perception on EBooks UIs (that offer a range of features differ from each other) and find out their level of acceptance of various features.The objectives of the study are:1. To identify the popular eBook publishers and their user interfaces;2. To examine various common features of eBooks that are available in the market;
Aim and Objectives of the Study3. To find out unique tasks that can be done with the help of eBooks but not with printed books;4. To determine the users’ likes and dislikes about the various eBook interface features;5. To assess the users’ acceptability of different interfaces of eBooks;6. To identify the problems faced by the users’ while using eBooks;7. To identify the best features to be incorporated along with present generation eBooks; and8. To identify future trends in the interfaces of eBooks.
Scope and Limitations• The scope is limited to the collection available in the PUCL and few freely downloadable eBooks.• The size and total representative sample of eBooks and users was not chosen due to time and available e-resources limitation.• Several formats of EBooks could not be downloadable because of application dependency and some other technical problems.
Review of Literature• Identified latest technologies, reading devices, eBooks formats and UI features for this study.Methodology• Evaluation can be done by different methods such as cognitive walk through, expert study, model based analysis, heuristic evaluation, query techniques, etc.• Some approaches are based on expert analysis such as analytic methods, review methods, query methods etc.• Some approaches involve users such as experimental methods, observational methods, and query methods.
Data Collection Techniques• The following two techniques are used in this study.Model-Based Evaluation• Certain cognitive and design models combining design specification and evaluation to the framework.• This model predicts user performance with a particular interface and can be used to filter disliked design options.Query Techniques• Query techniques can be useful in finding out details of the user’s views on the features of an interface.• Participants Background Questionnaire• User Feedback form.Data Collection Tools1. Participants Background Questionnaire2. User Feedback form.
2. User Feedback FormTo suit the objectives of this study, questions are categorized into 7 sections as follows:1. Personal Profile (already covered in 1)2. Navigational Features3. Screen Design Features4. Interactivity Features5. Graphics6. Information Searching7. User Problems
Data AnalysisI. Personal Profile of the Sample Variable Categories Percentage Gender Male 56 Female 44 Age 21-25 96 26-30 4 Qualification Integrated P.G. 6 P.G. 75 M.Tech. 10 M.Phil. 8 Ph.D. 1 Studying in 1. Subramania Bharathi School of Tamil Language & Literature 7 2. School of Management 14 3. Ramanujam School of Mathematical Sciences 10 4. School of Physical, Chemical & Applied Sciences 11 5. School of Life Sciences 7 6. School of Humanities 8 7. School of Performing Arts 7 8. School of Social Sciences & International Studies 6 9. School of Education 7 10. School of Media & Communication 10 11. School of Engineering & Technology 11 12. Madanjeet School of Green Energy Technology 12
Computer Usage Analysis• > - 2 years experience - 41.7%• 3-4 years experience - 20.8%• 5 years experience – 16.7% 57%• 5 - < years experience – 20.8%• 55.6% uses computers almost every day• 31.9% uses few times in a week• 12.5% uses few times in a month
Experience in using Computers• 73.6% (34.7%: very easy, 38.9%: easy) of them feel easy to use• 26.4% of them feel average with computers.• 47.2% of them have their own PC’s,• 37.1% of them have their own laptops• 16.7% of them do not have either of them• All of them are familiar with MS-Windows not Fedora, Redhat, Ubuntu etc.• 90.3% of the respondents have on-screen reading habit
Experience in using Internet• Less than one year using Internet - 9.7%• 2-3 years - 41.7%• 4-5 years - 19.5%) 48.3%• More than 5 years 29.2%• 61.1% of them use Internet almost every day• 29.3% of them use Internet occasionally• 9.7% of them use few times in a month.
Training to use Internet• 37.5% of them had undergone formal training in using Internet• 62.5% of them did not get any kind of trainingEasy to Use of Internet• 33.3% of them felt it is very easy to access Internet, 73.6%• 40.3% of them feel it is easy,• 26.4% of them mentioned that they can access averagely.
E-Document & EBooks Usage• PUCL gets eBooks, e-journals, e-databases etc.• Reasons for using E-Document - frequently updating of information - 91.7%• 91.7% of them used before except a very few (8.3%).Level of experience• 51.4% of them using for the past 2-3 years• 41.7% of them using less than 1 year• 6.9% of them using e-documents 4 years.
E-Document & EBooks Usage• 95.8% of them accesses eBooks online• 4.2% of them get access to eBooks through PUCL Website• No one uses standalone CD’s or DVD’s• 62.5% of them use multimedia eBooks• 47.2% of them use video enabled eBooks• 15.3% of them use animation and graphics enabled eBooks.Awareness about the PUCL eBooks subscription• 48.6% of them only aware about eBooks subscribed by the library, 51.4% of them are not.• PUCL should conduct awareness programmes• Another problem is eBooks subscribed by University is limited subject areas• So, 95.8% of them accesses eBooks online but not CDs or DVDs formats.
E-Document & EBooks UsageThe problems usually faced by the users are:• Downloading and accessing eBooks - 88%• Slow network – 69%• In finding out of eBooks - 14%Action to be taken:• Sometimes Wi-Fi network connection is slow• Increasing the network bandwidth• Conducting IL programmes regularly about awareness, IR techniques or the searching interface provided by the publishers.
II. User Feedback Form AnalysisUser Feedback Form Analysis• The user feedback form is collected during the time of interactive sessionCovering six sections: – navigational features, – screen design features, – interactivity features, – graphics, – information searching, and – user problems.
1. Navigational Features Users like and dislikes to navigational Features NotNavigational features Yes No ApplicableContents pull-down menu 93% 3% 4%Hyperlinked Index 97% 3% _Navigational links 87.5% 12.5% _Links to external web-pages 86% 11% 3%Different colors for external and internal links 71% 29% _Auto turning of pages 31% 68% 1%Video panel 89% 11% _
User preference for different links in each page• The respondents were asked to mark the links that they want in each page.
Different ways of browsing pages• Respondents were asked to choose the browsing/navigation options, in which way they feels easy/comfortable.
2. Screen Design Features• optional color backgrounds,• Zoom in and Zoom-out,• mode of on-screen reading,• flexible spacing between the texts.• 31% of them prefer optional background behind the text but majority feel it may distract the readers focus while reading an eBook.• 69% of them preferred to have ‘+’ and ‘–’ signs because easy to identify• 25% of them selected ‘%’ ; > 25% of them selected ‘ctrl +’ and ‘ctrl –’,• However, 16% of them selected both ‘+’ or ‘–’ signs and % modes.• 43% of them selected normal screen as on-screen reading mode• 60% of them selected full screen (some of the designers provide 50-200% option)• 71.5% of them preferred to have flexible spacing between words, lines etc, though 28.5% of them found it not necessary.
3. Interactivity Features• highlighting text• to show the URL of the hyperlink,• adding bookmarks,• adding comments,• taking on-screen notes,• printing on-screen notes,• re-usage of text,• printing of owned eBooks,• saving images of eBooks,• beep responses,• help options.
Users preference to responses for Interactivity Features NotInteractivity features Yes No ApplicableHighlighting 92% 8% _URL view to the hyperlink 82% 7% 11%Bookmarks 86% 13% 1%Comments 92% 7% 1%On-screen notes 88% 8% 4%Printing of On-screen notes 82% 3% 15%Help 93% 6% 1%System beep responses 76% 21% 3%Reuse of text 85% 15% _Acceptance of non-reusable eBook 67% 14% 19%Printing of owned commercial eBook 89% 11% _Saving selected portion as image or ASCII text 65% 17% 18%
3. Interactivity Features• 92% of them preferred highlighting the text in the eBooks.• 82% of them like to see the URL, when mouse goes over the links.• 86% of them like to add bookmarks while reading eBooks• 49% of them preferred text bookmarks, 46% preferred page bookmarks, 17% preferred URL bookmarks, 12% preferred both types bookmarks.• 92% of them would like to make comments in eBooks.• 58% of them preferred to make comments in text form, 30% preferred in A-V format
4. Graphics• Graphics is one of the important elements of any user interface on which feedback is taken.• Users preferences to responses on Graphics Graphics Yes No Not Applicable Icon Labels 74% 26% _ Multimedia elements 88% 7% 5% Change of pointer styles, when 78% 17% 5% mouse cursor moves over an icon
5. Information Searching• Users preferences to information searching features Information Searching features Yes No Not Applicable Multimedia searches 81% 18% 1% Words/Phrase search 78% 22% _ Password protection 96% 3% 1%
6. Users Problems while using eBooks• Interactivity problems such as navigational features (36%),• illogical icons (21%)• unfamiliar options (6%).• Problems due to distracting colors, uncomfortable font size, unreadable font style, low quality text are focused as readability problems. Users responses for readability problems
6. Users Problems while using eBooks• 36% of them faced navigational problems while using eBooks• 61% of them complained that they have faced problems because of unfamiliar options in the interface• 21% of them faced problems due to illogical icons.• 36% of them faced problems due to distracting colors• 47% of them faced problems because of low quality text,• 38% of them faced problems with uncomfortable font size• 33% of them faced problem with unreadable fonts.
Conclusions• Popular eBook publisher found in the Indian Universities and educational institutions are - IEEE, ACM, netLibrary and Safari.• Commercial eBook publishers usually come with good and innovative features to attract the subscribers / users.• Each of those UIs are provided with different features by considering the user group.
Common Features of eBooks available in the Market• Common Features - Bookmarking, highlighting, help facility making comments, taking notes.• Rare Features: turning pages, taking notes, sharing with friends etc.• Multimedia eBooks are produced by commercial eBook publishers.• Common interactive features : hyperlinked table of contents, hyperlinked index, links to the external web pages, optional background settings, password protection facility, changing font size and colors, flexible word spacing, flexible line spacing, icon labeling, video panel for navigation, multimedia searches, word or phrase searches etc.
Unique Features of eBooks from Printed Books• Hyperlinked table of contents, hyperlinked index, links to the external web pages, optional background settings, password protection facility, changing font size, changing font colors, flexible word spacing, flexible line spacing, icon labeling, video panel for navigation, multimedia elements, multimedia searches, word or phrase searches, making comments in the form of audio and video etc.
Users’ Likes and Dislikes about the Interface Features• Users liked: hyperlinked table of contents, hyperlinked index, links to the external web pages, protection facility, changing font size & colors, flexible word spacing, flexible line spacing, icon labeling, video panel for navigation, multimedia elements, multimedia searches, word or phrase searches, making comments in the form of audio and video etc.• The disliked features are: optional background settings, automatic turning pages.
Acceptability of UI’s Features of eBooks• Accepted features: the features which offers them better navigational facilities and helps them to be more interactive with eBooks.• Interesting features: optional background settings, automatic turning pages etc. seemed to be incorporated for the sake of visual effects are accepted by less percentage of participants. (Some also pointed as dislikes)
Users’ Problems• Accessibility of eBooks is the major problem faced by the majority of the respondents.• Users are not aware of subscriptions agreement between the publisher and the lib.• So, accessibility and restrictions in using eBooks should be informed clearly.• Downloadable restrictions, printing restrictions should be spelled out to the users.• Interaction problems encountered based on their level of awareness, usage and experience(N-E).• Interaction problems - illogical icons, new and unfamiliar options are problems while reading eBooks.• User training programmes-orientation programmes, interactive sessions, demo classes etc, will help the users• Readability problems like unreadable font styles, distracting color backgrounds, low quality text etc.
Features to be incorporated along with Present Generation eBooks• The features should not be complex to use, and meet general reading habits of the users.• To have password protection facility, word or phrase search, flexibility to change color, size and style of the font etc.• Multimedia eBooks with audio, video, animation etc. may be included• Creating extraordinary user interfaces vs. a user friendly interface.• Users do not prefer fashionable or maximum number of features, but accepts the interface with minimum number of applicable and useful features.• The UI of future eBooks: should provide book meet the needs of e-reading habit of users and make their reading enjoyable more than printed books.
• Apples iPad 2 is as fast as a Cray 2 supercomputer 25 years ago• Today an iPads graphics processing unit (GPU) bests the performance over supercomputers of the early 1990s. Apple iPhone 5 UI
What about Tomorrow?A text-free UI to non-literate users
a reader sees when searching on the Nook iPad app
Current devicesThe range of current devices?• keyboard• light pen, stylus• mouse, touchpad, touch screen, trackball, joystick• microphone• character terminals/bit-mapped screens• audio
Future devices?Common use soon?• data gloves/suits (wearable computing)• natural language• head-up displays
Definition of eBookElectronic book, eBook reader, eBook device, digital book.eBook is defined in four perspectives: Media, Device, Delivery, and Content1. Media: eBook as another kind of book in terms of media. It is considered another e-format, or a digital object.2. Device: The eBook has to be read by a specific device or equipment composed of computer software or hardware.3. Delivery: The eBook could be published on a website or delivered directly over a network.4. Content: The content of eBooks could be different from paper books, and not tied to a physical object for representation and distribution. – There is a need for frequent updates of content (versioning is common).
Features of eBooks• Portability, universal access, and multimedia experience for users.• eBook is coupled with a reading device either of computer software or hardware.• eBook is a single device with an entire library of interlinked documents, dictionary lookup, unlimited, sharable annotation, search capability, and so forth.• It can have multimedia, searching, annotation, hyperlinks and the incorporation of diverse eBooks and related reference works.
Purpose of the Study1. To examine various features provided by the eBook publishers and their level of acceptance by users;2. To ensure that the better usability is achieved by technological advancements during the recent past;3. To identify the best useful features to be incorporated in the eBook design from the users perspective.
Navigational Features• 93% of them found useful to have pull-down menu for contents.• 97% of them opinioned that hyperlinked index is useful.• 86% of them feels that the external links are helpful to access useful information directly with less effort.• 71% of them felt that the external links and internal links should be differentiated in colors for easy identification• Unfortunately it is not standardized globally by the eBook designers.• It is resulting in some level of confusion between internal and external links.