Effects of User Age on Smartphone and Tablet Use, Measured with an Eye-Tracker via Fixation Duration, Scan-Path Duration, and Saccades Proportion

  • Suleyman Al-Showarah
  • Naseer AL-Jawad
  • Harin Sellahewa
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8514)


The design of user interfaces plays an important role in human computer interaction, especially for smartphones and tablet devices. It is very important to consider the interface design of smartphones for elderly people in order for them to benefit from the variety applications on such devices. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of user age as well as screen size on smartphone/tablet use. We evaluated the usability of smartphone interfaces for three different age groups: elderly age group (60+ years), middle age group (40-59 years) and younger age group (20-39 years). The evaluation is performed using three different screen sizes of smartphone and tablet devices: 3.2”, 7”, and 10.1” respectively. An eye-tracker device was employed to obtain three metrics: fixation duration, scan-path duration, and saccades amplitude. Two hypothesis were considered. First, elderly users will have both local and global processing diffieculties on smartphone/tablet use than other age groups. Second, all user age groups will be influnced by screen sizes; small screen size will have smaller saccades proportion indicating uneasy interface broswing compared to large screen size. All these results have been statistically evaluated using 2-way ANOVA.


Smartphone interfaces elderly people eye tracking mobile computing human computer interaction interfaces evaluation usability of smart phone 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suleyman Al-Showarah
    • 1
  • Naseer AL-Jawad
    • 1
  • Harin Sellahewa
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied Computing DepartmentThe University of BuckinghamBuckinghamUK

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