Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 297–308 | Cite as

Facets of prior experience and the effectiveness of inclusive design

  • Jörn Hurtienne
  • Anne-Marie Horn
  • Patrick M. Langdon
  • P. John Clarkson
Long paper


Research in inclusive design has shown the importance of prior experience for the usability of interactive products. Prior experience, however, is an ill-defined and inconsistently used construct. A number of different definitions and operationalisations of experience exist, but the differing power of these operationalisations to predict the usability of products for older users has rarely been investigated systematically. This study seeks to fill that gap. It is argued that the construct of experience has at least three components. It is proposed that two of these components, exposure and competence, are directly relevant for the current discussion about prior experience in inclusive design and that they can predict to different degrees the usability of a product for older users. In an empirical study, these facets of expertise are each operationalised on three levels of specificity and their impact on usability is assessed. The results show that measures of competence predict usability variables more strongly than measures of exposure and that levels of medium and high specificity are the best predictors. The application of inclusive design principles to a redesigned version of a ticket vending machine—although not resulting in a difference of overall usability—changed the impact of prior experience on usability measures implying an enhanced inclusiveness of the redesign with regard to prior experience. The implications of these findings for the effectiveness of inclusive design for older users are discussed.


Inclusive design Older adults Prior experience Competence Usability Ticket vending machines 



This research was supported by a Marie Curie Intra European Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme (project INCLUDIS) and a research grant from Deutsche Telekom Laboratories Berlin. The authors would like to thank the ALISA project at Humboldt Universität Berlin for providing the prototypes of the ticket vending machines.


  1. 1.
    Beier, G.: Kontrollüberzeugungen im Umgang mit Technik: Ein Persönlichkeitsmerkmal mit Relevanz für die Gestaltung technischer Systeme. Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany (2004)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Blackler, A.: Intuitive interaction with complex artefacts. Doctoral thesis. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane (2006)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Blackler, A., Mahar, D., Popovic, V.: Intuitive interaction, prior experience and ageing: an empirical study. In: Proceedings of the 23 rd BCS Conference on Human Computer Interaction (HCI 2009), Cambridge, UK (2009)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Browne, H.: Accessibility and usability of information technology by the elderly. URL: (2000)
  5. 5.
    Coleman, R.: Designing for our future selves. In: Preiser, W.F.E., Ostroff, E. (eds.) Universal design handbook, pp. 4.1–4.25. MacGraw-Hill, New York (2001)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Czaja, S., Lee, C.: Designing computer systems for older adults. In: Jacko, J., Sears, A. (eds.) The human-computer interaction handbook, pp. 413–427. L. Erlbaum Associates Inc, Mahwah, NJ (2002)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Czaja, S., Sharit, J.: Age differences in the performance of computer-based work. Psychol. Aging 8, 59–67 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Docampo Rama, M.: Technology generations handling complex User Interfaces (Doctoral dissertation). Technische Universiteit, Eindhoven (2001)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Field, A.: Discovering statistics using SPSS. Sage, Los Angeles, US (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Fisk, A., Rogers, W., Charness, N., Czaja, S., Sharit, J.: Designing for older adults: principles and creative human factors approaches. CRC Press, Boca Raton, US (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Garland, K., Noyes, J.: Computer experience: a poor predictor of computer attitudes. Comput. Hum. Behav. 20, 823–840 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gefen, D., Karahanna, E., Straub, D.W.: Inexperience and experience with online stores: the importance of TAM and trust. IEEE Trans. Eng. Manage. 50(3), 307–321 (2003). doi: 10.1109/TEM.2003.817277 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hawthorn, D.: Possible implications of aging for interface designers. Interact. Comput. 12(5), 507–528 (2000). doi: 10.1016/S0953-5438(99)00021-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hurtienne, J.: Image schemas and design for intuitive use. Exploring new guidance for user interface design. Technische Universität, Berlin, Germany. Retrieved August 21, 2011, from (2011)
  15. 15.
    Hurtienne, J., Horn, A.-M., & Langdon, P. M.: Facets of prior experience and their impact on product usability for older users. In P. Langdon, P. J. Clarkson & P. Robinson (eds.) Designing inclusive interactions, pp. 123–132. Springer, London (2010). doi: 10.1007/978-1-84996-166-0_12
  16. 16.
    Hurtienne, J., & Naumann, A.: QUESI—A questionnaire for measuring the subjective consequences of intuitive use. In R. Porzel, N. Sebanz & M. Spitzer (eds.) Interdisciplinary College 2010. Focus Theme: Play, Act and Learn, p. 536. Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Sankt Augustin (2010)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    ISO: ISO 9241–11: ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals (VDTs)—Part 11: guidance on usability. International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland (1998)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    ISO: ISO 9241–110: ergonomics of human-system interaction—Part 110: dialogue principles. International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland (2006)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Langdon, P.M., Lewis, T., Clarkson, P.J.: The effects of prior experience on the use of consumer products. Univ. Access Inf. Soc. 6, 179–191 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lewis, T., Langdon, P.M., Clarkson, P.J.: Prior experience of domestic microwave cooker interfaces: a user study. In: Langdon, P.M., Clarkson, P.J., Robinson, P. (eds.) Designing inclusive futures. Springer, London, UK (2008)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Limayem, M., Hirt, S.G., Cheung, C.: How habit limits the predictive power of intention: the case of information systems continuance. Manag. Inf. Sys. Q. 31(4), 705–737 (2008)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mieczakowski, A., Langdon, P., Clarkson, P.J.: Modelling product-user interaction for inclusive design. In: Stephanidis, C. (ed.) Universal access in human-computer interaction: addressing diversity. Springer, Berlin, Germany (2009)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Nicolle, C., Abascal, J. (eds.): Inclusive design guidelines for HCI. Taylor & Francis, London (2001)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pataki, K., Sachse, K, Prümper, J. & Thüring, M.: ISONORM 9241/10-S: Kurzfragebogen zur Software-Evaluation. In F. Lösel (Hrsg.) Berichte über den 45. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie ,S. 258–259. Pabst Science Publishers, Lengerich (2006)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Potosky, D., Bobko, P.: The computer understanding and experience scale: a self-report measure of computer experience. Comput. Hum. Behav. 14, 337–348 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Prümper, J.: Test IT: ISONORM 9241/10. In: Bullinger, H.J., Ziegler, J. (eds.) Human-computer interaction—communication, cooperation, and application design, pp. 1028–1032. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, New Jersey (1999)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Schaie, K.W.: Cognitive Aging. In: Pew, R.W., van Hemel, S.B. (eds.) Technology for adaptive aging, pp. 43–63. National Academies Press, Washington D.C. (2004)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Schifferstein, H., Hekkert, P.: Product experience. Elsevier Science, San Diego, US (2007)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Sengpiel, M., Dittberner, D.: The computer literacy scale (CLS) for older adults—development and validation. In: Herczeg, M., Kindsmüller, M.C. (eds.) Mensch & Computer 2008: Viel Mehr Interaktion. Oldenbourg, Munich, Germany (2008)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Sengpiel, M.: Young by design: supporting older adults’ mobility and home technology use through universal design and instruction. In: C. Stephanidis (ed.), Universal access in human-computer interaction. Context Diversity, pp. 230–239. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg (2011)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Sengpiel, M., Wandke, H.: Compensating the effects of age differences in computer literacy on the use of ticket vending machines through minimal video instruction. Occup. Ergon. 9(2), 87–98 (2010). doi: 10.3233/OER-2010-0174 Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Smith, B., Caputi, P., Crittenden, N., Jayasuriya, R., Rawstorne, P.: A review of the construct of computer experience. Comput. Hum. Behav. 15, 227–242 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Smith, B., Caputi, P., Rawstorne, P.: The development of a measure of subjective computer experience. Comput. Hum. Behav. 23, 127–145 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Sun, H., Zhang, P.: The role of moderating factors in user technology acceptance. Int. J. Hum Comput Stud. 64(2), 53–78 (2006). doi: 16/j.ijhcs.2005.04.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Tabachnick, B., Fidell, L.: Using multivariate statistics. Pearson Education, Boston (2007)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Thompson, R., Higgins, C., Howell, J.: Influence of experience on personal computer utilization: testing a conceptual model. J. Manag. Inf. Sys. 11, 167–187 (1994)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Yaghmaie, F.: Development of a scale for measuring user computer experience. J. Res. Nurs. 12(2), 185–190 (2007). doi: 10.1177/1744987106068353 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörn Hurtienne
    • 1
  • Anne-Marie Horn
    • 2
  • Patrick M. Langdon
    • 3
  • P. John Clarkson
    • 3
  1. 1. Chair of Psychological ErgonomicsJulius-Maximilians-Universität WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Business and EconomicsFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Engineering Department, Engineering Design CentreCambridge UniversityCambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations