Neuroanatomical Correlates of Perceived Usability
Proceedings of the 30th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology - UIST '17
Figure 1. Some key regions of brain activity (in white circles) for assessment of perceived usability (left to right): left medial frontal gyrus, left superior frontal gyrus, right superior frontal gyrus, right precentral gyrus, left claustrum, and left putamen. ABSTRACT Usability has a distinct subjective component, yet surprisingly little is known about its neural basis and relation to the neuroanatomy of aesthetics. To begin closing this gap, we conducted two functional magnetic resonance
... ging studies in which participants were shown static webpages (in the first study) and videos of interaction with webpages (in the second study). The webpages were controlled so as to exhibit high and low levels of perceived usability and perceived aesthetics. Our results show unique links between perceived usability and brain areas involved in functions such as emotional processing (left fusiform gyrus, superior frontal gyrus), anticipation of physical interaction (precentral gyrus), task intention (anterior cingulate cortex), and linguistic processing (medial and bilateral superior frontal gyri). We use these findings to discuss the brain correlates of perceived usability and the use of fMRI for usability evaluation and for generating new user experiences. We outline uses of fMRI for usability evaluation and for generating new user experiences. RELATED WORK Here, we will first discuss the construct of perceived usability and then review the principles of fMRI. Then we will highlight the lack of earlier fMRI studies on usability and describe the benefits of this line of work. Perceived Usability Usability as a construct has been widely accepted and disseminated in the HCI field. According to ISO , usability concerns the effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction with which users can achieve their goals when interacting with computers. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in user experience, bringing a focus on temporality and concepts such as the affective and the hedonic  . In addition, ISO  defines user experience as "a person's perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service". Following this definition, user experience includes many aspects of users' perceptions and experiences during and after use, including emotions, beliefs, and physical and psychological responses. Because of this, user experience has gained immense interest in HCI, as it highlights the non-utilitarian aspects of human-technology interactions, and focuses on user affect, sensation, and meaning as well as the value of such interactions in everyday life  . Although there is some controversy regarding the extent to which usability and user experience differ , we will refer to the construct of usability for the rest of the paper. Despite the success and wide use of the usability construct, a variety of issues with its use persists (e.g., [56, 57] ). First, usability is often considered to have different components or dimensions. The ISO 9241 standard, for instance, separates components of effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction; other definitions include different dimensions [40, 68, 79]. However, these dimensions correlate differently and sometimes only weakly . And for some dimensions, many measures show unclear correlations .