A Simple Method to Record Keystrokes on Mobile Phones and Other Devices for Usability Evaluations

  • Brian T. LinEmail author
  • Paul A. Green
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9746)


Task times, sometimes at the keystroke level, as well as the number of keystrokes are often used to assess the usefulness and ease of use of mobile devices. This paper describes a new method to obtain keystroke-level timing of tasks involving Virtual Network Computing (VNC) and Techsmith Morae (commonly used for usability tests). Running VNC, the PC mimics what the mobile device does, which is recorded by Morae running on the PC. To evaluate this configuration, 24 pairs of subjects texted 1,200 messages concerning five topics to each other. Every keystroke was recorded and timed to the nearest 10 ms. As desired, the communications were quite stable, with times of 90 % of the messages on the two recording computers being normally distributed and within ± 100 ms of each other. Others are encouraged to use this method, given its accuracy and low cost, to examine mobile device usability.


Keystroke-logging Usability testing Mobile devices Virtual network computing (VNC) 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Driver Interface GroupUniversity of Michigan Transportation Research InstituteAnn ArborUSA

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