Introduction to Volume 13, Issue 4

We are delighted to publish an editorial by Marc Hassenzahl titled “A Personal Journey Through User Experience.” The author explores the relationship between function, beauty, and pleasure in product design from a historical perspective. In his essay, he argues that many in the usability community have historically neglected the importance of hedonics in our research and design efforts.

The first article is by Obead Alhadreti and Pam Mayhew titled “Are Two Pairs of Eyes Better Than One? A Comparison of Concurrent Think-Aloud and Co-Participation Methods in Usability Testing.” In this article, the authors share the results of a study in which they compare a traditional think-aloud protocol with a co-participation method in terms of task performance, participant testing experience, number of usability problems detected, and cost of each method.

The second article is by Ashley Cain and Jeremiah Still, titled “Usability Comparison of Over-the-Shoulder Attack Resistant Authentication Schemes.” The authors compare the usability of three common methods to prevent “over the shoulder attacks (OSA)” during a password authentication process, specifically a graphical scheme, eye tracking scheme, and typical alphanumeric password.  They compared each of these OSA strategies in terms of login times, learnability, memorability, satisfaction, acceptability, and error rates.

The third article by Byungsoo Kim, Sharon Joines, Russell Flinchum, and Jing Feng is titled “Usability Study to Improve Interaction Design for Drivers in Car-Sharing Systems” The authors examine the usability of secondary controls in cars in which the driver is not familiar by comparing the usability of controls in participants’ own cars versus a rented Zipcar, including task time and number of glances.