On the Usability of Smartphone Apps in Emergencies

An HCI Analysis of GDACSmobile and SmartRescue Apps
  • Parvaneh Sarshar
  • Vimala Nunavath
  • Jaziar Radianti
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9170)


It is very critical that the disaster management smartphone app users be able to interact efficiently and effectively with the app during an emergen-cy. An overview of the challenges face for designing mobile HCI in emergency management tools is presented in this paper. Then, two recently developed emergency management tools, titled GDACSmobile and SmartRescue, are studied from usability and HCI challenges point of view. These two tools use mobile app and smartphone sensors as the main functionality respectively. Both have a smartphone app and a web-based app with different UIs for their different user groups. Furthermore, the functionality of these apps in the format of a designed scenario, fire onboard a passenger ship, will be discussed.


Emergency management tools Smartphone apps Mobile HCI Fire emergency Mobile usability 



The research presented here has been partially funded by the research grant awarded to the SmartRescue project by Aust-Agder Utvikling- og Kompetansefond. Authors would like to thank Mr. Daniel Link and GDACSmobile group for their valuable cooperation and support.


  1. 1.
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
    Bekker, W.: Apps for that-Tried and tested downloads for firefighters.
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
    Carver, L., Turoff, M.: Human-computer interaction: the human and computer as a team in emergency management information systems. Commun. ACM 50(3), 33–38 (2007)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Love, S.: Understanding Mobile Human-Computer Interaction. Butterworth-Heinemann, Newton (2005)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wang, L., Sajeev, A.: Roller interface for mobile device applications. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the Eight Australasian Conference on User Interface, vol. 64 (2007)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wigdor, D., Wixon, D.: Brave NUI World: Designing Natural User Interfaces for Touch and Gesture. Elsevier, Amsterdam (2011)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Salazar, L.H.A., Lacerda, T., Nunes, J.V., von Wangenheim, C.G.: A systematic literature review on usability heuristics for mobile phones. Int. J. Mob Hum. Comput. Interact. (IJMHCI) 5(2), 50–61 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schleicher, R., Westermann, T., Reichmuth, R.: Mobile Human Computer–Interaction Quality of Experience, pp. 339–349. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Flentge, F., Weber, S.G., Behring, A., Ziegert, T.: Designing context-aware HCI for collaborative emergency management. Paper presented at the International Workshop on HCI for Emergencies in Conjunction with CHI (2008)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Paulheim, H., Döweling, S., Tso-Sutter, K.H., Probst, F., Ziegert, T.: Improving Usability of Integrated Emergency Response Systems: The SoKNOS Approach. Paper presented at the GI Jahrestagung (2009)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
  16. 16.
  17. 17.
    Centre for Integrated Emergency Management. CIEM.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parvaneh Sarshar
    • 1
  • Vimala Nunavath
    • 1
  • Jaziar Radianti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ICTUniversity of Agder (UiA)KristiansandNorway

Personalised recommendations