Introduction to Volume 9, Issue 2

The editorial leading off this issue is a survey of the state of the user experience (UX) profession in Asia. Zhengjie Liu takes us country by country on a tour of the development and current state of UX. While the growth of the profession came later than it did in the West, the parallels between the factors that stimulate growth are striking. The need for a UX profession only develops when a country adopts communication and information technology and when there are multiple manufacturers competing for customers. Furthermore, the growth of the profession primarily happens in industry because universities do not recognize human-computer interaction as a field worth studying.

Our first peer-reviewed article by Justin Owens and colleagues sheds light on a practice that web designers often consider. Designers know that users avoid looking at areas of a webpage that contain advertising. So why not move the advertizing to areas that people do look at? Using eye movement data, the study shows that participants quickly adapted to new layouts and avoided the areas with advertising. But that process of adapting hindered task success and increased perceived mental effort, making the changed page design counterproductive.

Our second peer-reviewed article by Barbara Chaparro and colleagues is an experiment comparing three physical computer tablet keyboards. The keyboards varied in weight, thickness, and key travel. The results show an advantage in both performance and satisfaction of mechanical over pressure-sensitive keys. The study shows the importance of tactile feedback to typing speed, accuracy, and satisfaction.