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A Meta-Analytical Review of Empirical Mobile Usability Studies

Constantinos K. Coursaris and Dan J. Kim

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 6, Issue 3, May 2011, pp. 117 - 171


In this paper we present an adapted usability evaluation framework to the context of a mobile computing environment. Using this framework, we conducted a qualitative meta-analytical review of more than 100 empirical mobile usability studies. The results of the qualitative review include (a) the contextual factors studied; (b) the core and peripheral usability dimensions measured; and (c) key findings in the form of a research agenda for future mobile usability research, including open and unstructured tasks are underutilized, interaction effects between interactivity and complexity warrant further investigation, increasing research on accessibility may improve the usability of products and services for often overlooked audiences, studying novel technology and environmental factors will deepen contextual mobile usability knowledge, understanding which hedonic factors impact the aesthetic appeal of a mobile device or service and in turn usability, and a high potential for neuroscience research in mobile usability. Numerous additional findings and takeaways for practitioners are also discussed.


Practitioner’s Take Away

The following are key points raised in this paper:

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A Meta-Analytical Review of Empirical Mobile Usability Studies