Psychophysiological Techniques in Usability Testing – Københavns Universitet

Psychophysiological Techniques in Usability Testing

Specialeforsvar v/Olaf Frandsen-Thorlacius


Usability tests are an important part of human computer interaction, but the methods used in industry today have disadvantages. Either they do not provide enough insights into the users' thoughts or they affect the users' behavior. The purpose of this thesis is to improve the existing methods using psychophysiological techniques, specifically electromyography (EMG).

This thesis studies EMG as an indicator of usability problems. An experiment was conducted where 15 subjects participated in a usability test of three small interfaces, while EMG activity of four muscles was measured. Data were analyzed by comparing periods where usability problems occurred with periods where they did not. The results were ambiguous and neither confirmed nor contradicted that EMG activity can be used for identifying usability problems

Everybody is welcome to attend.

Supervisor: Kasper Hornbæk, DIKU

External examiner: Associate Professor John Paulin Hansen, ITU