Journal of Medical Systems

, 40:11 | Cite as

The Effect of Screen Size on Mobile Phone User Comprehension of Health Information and Application Structure: An Experimental Approach

  • Ebtisam Al Ghamdi
  • Faisal Yunus
  • Omar Da’ar
  • Ashraf El-Metwally
  • Mohamed Khalifa
  • Bakheet Aldossari
  • Mowafa HousehEmail author
Mobile Systems
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Mobile Systems


This research analyzes the impact of mobile phone screen size on user comprehension of health information and application structure. Applying experimental approach, we asked randomly selected users to read content and conduct tasks on a commonly used diabetes mobile application using three different mobile phone screen sizes. We timed and tracked a number of parameters, including correctness, effectiveness of completing tasks, content ease of reading, clarity of information organization, and comprehension. The impact of screen size on user comprehension/retention, clarity of information organization, and reading time were mixed. It is assumed on first glance that mobile screen size would affect all qualities of information reading and comprehension, including clarity of displayed information organization, reading time and user comprehension/retention of displayed information, but actually the screen size, in this experimental research, did not have significant impact on user comprehension/retention of the content or on understanding the application structure. However, it did have significant impact on clarity of information organization and reading time. Participants with larger screen size took shorter time reading the content with a significant difference in the ease of reading. While there was no significant difference in the comprehension of information or the application structures, there were a higher task completion rate and a lower number of errors with the bigger screen size. Screen size does not directly affect user comprehension of health information. However, it does affect clarity of information organization, reading time and user’s ability to recall information.


Mobile phones Screen size Comprehension Usability Retention 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ebtisam Al Ghamdi
    • 1
  • Faisal Yunus
    • 1
  • Omar Da’ar
    • 1
  • Ashraf El-Metwally
    • 1
  • Mohamed Khalifa
    • 2
  • Bakheet Aldossari
    • 1
  • Mowafa Househ
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Public Health and Health InformaticsKing Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS), National Guard Health Affairs (NGHA)RiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research CenterJeddahSaudi Arabia

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