Introduction to Volume 4, Issue 4

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Welcome to the fourth issue of volume 4 of JUS!

Based on the premise of the eye-mind hypothesis which states that people look at the objects they are attending to and process cognitively, tracking eye movements in usability testing has been around for over a decade. However, it is still a challenge to define and interpret appropriate and valid metrics. In the first peer-reviewed article titled: “Visual Attention in Newspaper versus TV-Oriented News Websites”, William J. Gibbs and Ronan S. Bernas introduce several eye movement metrics they used to assess aspects in the usability of various news-related web sites. The authors demonstrate the implementation of eye movement metrics to distinguish between web sites and draw implications about their usability.

Contemporary interactive technology allows us to watch movies and TV on our mobile devices, and interact with our TV set in a similar way to our interaction with our mobile devices and desktop computers. Is it singularity time? Perhaps not yet, but Younghwan Pan and Young Sam Ryu address the issue of having similar interaction objectives on different platforms. In the second peer-reviewed article titled: “Insights for the TV Interface from the Mobile Phone Interface”, they assess the possibility of transferring interaction modes from the mobile devices to interactive TV. They conclude that such transferability is feasible and recommended.

The scarcity of qualified usability evaluators reflects an increasing need. We are still faced with the challenge of how to train and qualify professional evaluators. In the third peer-review article titled: “A Methodology for Measuring Usability Evaluation Skills Using the Constructivist Theory and the Second Life Virtual World”, the author Debra Slone proposes a different approach to address this challenge. Using principles of constructivist teaching and learning, the author used Second Life as an engaging environment to facilitate the active learning aspects and teach evaluation skills to students.