Undo for Mobile Phones Does Your Mobile Phone Need an Undo Key? Do You?

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The undo function is not accessory, but still it has not been
introduced to mobile devices in an appropriate way. Undo is still
shaped to fit text editing, and it has changed a little only for
graphical editing so far. In this paper, we report the results of a
survey with which we investigated why and how to add this
functionality to regular mobile phones – not only to smartphones
or high-end handheld devices. Our respondents suggested an undo
model that is linear, sequential, with variable granularity
(according to the context of use) and requiring confirmation
before execution (both to improve awareness and avoid additional
mistakes).

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Undo for Mobile Phones Does Your Mobile Phone Need an Undo Key? Do You?

  1. 1. Undo for Mobile Phones Does Your Mobile Phone Need an Undo Key? Do You? Marco Loregian, University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy) www.marcoloregian.net
  2. 2. Undo • Well known function of PC applications • Allows to revert (the effects of) commands • Applied to user actions • Different strategies
  3. 3. Undo models A coarse classification
  4. 4. What does “undo” mean when operating with mobile phones?
  5. 5. ...and I really mean phones, not cool gadgets
  6. 6. The problem • We need to know it in order to design usable (successful) devices • How should we find it out? • Undo is a user intention • We surveyed users
  7. 7. Concerns in mind • Reversibility (yes/no) • Criticality (high/low)
  8. 8. The survey Online survey, 20 questions, 5 parts 1. Personal info (demographics) 2. Introduction (basic operations) 3. Scenario (multiple steps) 4. Reversed perspective 5. Conclusion (overall opinion)
  9. 9. The results Full stats and comments in the paper • Demographics • Interesting facts from the survey
  10. 10. Demographics 146 respondents, 133 answered all questions Age Distribution Gender 80 80 60 40 45% 36 55% 20 11 10 0 6 1 1 1 Male 15-20 21-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-45 46-50 51-55 Female
  11. 11. Number of phones used regularly 150,0 112,5 116 With respect to the diffusion of mobile 75,0 phones, the sample is consistent with Italian 37,5 population (istat.it) 25 0 1 4 none one two three more Computer Skills (wrt applications) 60 54 52 Different computer 45 skills may indicate 39 30 familiarity with different undo models 15 0 1 None Basic Average Advanced Absolute
  12. 12. Highlights and selected survey items
  13. 13. Confirmation Prompt for confirmation 100 97 75 50 25 33 18 0 Yes No Yes, if... 66% want to know what they are undoing 22% ask for a transparent implementation 12% want to be warned in case of irreversibility
  14. 14. Granularity Question 8 Question 10 110,0 70,0 102 61 82,5 52,5 47 55,0 35,0 27,5 17,5 27 17 18 13 0 4 0 1 Different preferences, variable granularity with respect to different situations… context awareness? The same key has different behaviors in different moments, sometimes matching the End key
  15. 15. Timeline • Very simple/intuitive interaction • Linear and sequential undo operations undone one-by-one in reverse chronological order
  16. 16. Privacy and Responsibility Can a SMS be deleted from your phone if you’ve not read it? 110,0 103 • Nothing hidden to 82,5 me 55,0 • The responsible pays the price 27,5 31 0 Yes No
  17. 17. The verdict Would you like mobile phones to have an undo key? 53 70 % Ye s 65 60 50 40 38 30 34 20 10 0 Yes No Yes, if...
  18. 18. Conclusion • Undo for mobile phones: linear, sequential, with variable granularity and confirmation before execution • Generalization of the results
  19. 19. More work • Undo for email, a.k.a. retraction (poster yesterday) • Undo for Ubiquitous Computing published at UIC’08, IDC’2008
  20. 20. Moral of the talk undo! undo! undo! If we had more ctrl+Z our lives might be better
  21. 21. Thank you, any question? Undo for Mobile Phones Does Your Mobile Phone Need an Undo Key? Do You? Marco Loregian, University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy) www.marcoloregian.net

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