Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Investigating usability of search engines in small screen devices : a systems engineering approach Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/b5644t97m

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  • In today's world, desktop computers have become such an integral part of our lives that it is practically impossible to imagine anything being done without the aid of computers. As the world becomes more and more fast paced and users feel a need to have computers on the go, desktop computers have reduced in size without compromising on performance. The late 90s saw the desktop segment make room for the laptop and the small screen devices (SSD) segment, which demonstrated faster growth rates than the desktop segment. The SSD segment, however, had a growth rate that was nowhere near the combined growth rate of desktop and laptop computers. Portability of SSD was one factor that stood out among many others to account for the unprecedented growth rate of the SSD segment that the computer industry had witnessed. One of the most important, albeit under-represented and neglected, factors of a product is its usability. Usability, or the ease with which a product can be used, can be considered to be one of the most important factors in the success or failure of product. Determining the usability of small screen devices presents a bigger challenge, primarily because of the screen size of the SSD. The process of usability engineering aims to solve some/most of the problems that the SSD has. To make up for the drawbacks of usability engineering, systems engineering was used in this thesis, since both disciplines have considerable overlap in their processes. A growing number of SSD users use the Internet in one form or the other. The Internet has grown rapidly in the last decade, and nearly everyone using the Internet has come across a search engine sometime or other. Although research has been limited to the area of desktop search engines, there has not been enough research done in the area of search engines for small screen devices. This thesis compares two different search engines on small screen devices to find the better between the two. To do so, it takes a close look at the usability engineering approach from a system engineering perspective revealing several deficiencies, which may have hitherto gone unnoticed. It also shows a method to integrate several key Systems Engineering components into the usability engineering approach.
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