Philip Kortum. All rights reserved.
is an essential activity in our democratic system in the United States.
Before the Florida voting problem in 2000 (with the infamous butterfly
ballot) very little research had been done to assess the usability of
our nation's voting systems. We are now beginning to examine various
aspects of voting systems, trying to understand how users interact with
these systems, what kinds of errors they make and how we might design
secure voting systems that are highly usable by the general population
and those voters who may have physical disabilities. We are examining
issues such as 1) the usability of smartphone-based voting systems, 2)
the usability of end-to-end cryptographic voting systems, 3) audio
voting interfaces to support voters with visual impairments and 4) the
impact of polling station physical attributes on voter
behaviors, just to name a few.
We are also currently working with voting officials in the State
of Texas to
develop a highly secure, easy to use, voter verifiable voting platform.
Below are a few recent publications in this area.
C. Z., Kortum, P., Byrne, M. D., & Wallach, D. S. (2015). Users’
mental models for three end-to-end voting systems: Helios, Pret a
Voter, and Scantegrity II. Human Aspects of Information Security,
Privacy, and Trust - Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 9190, 463-474.
C. Z., Kortum, P., Byrne, M. D., & Wallach, D. (2014). Usability of
voter verifiable end-to-end voting systems: Baseline data for Helios,
Pret a Voter, and Scantegrity II. Journal of Election Technology and Systems, 2(3), 26-56.
B., Tossell, C. C., Byrne, M. D., & Kortum, P. (2014). Towards more
usable electronic voting: Testing the usability of a smartphone voting
system. Human Factors, 56(5), 973-985.
Usability of Products and Services
One of the biggest
arises in industry is trying to determine how usable a new product or
service is before it is launched to the public. We have been collecting
data using Brookes' System Usability Scale (SUS) for over a decade now,
reporting on what usability scores look like across wide range of
products. This data will allow usability practitioners to benchmark
their results against a varied set of products and services, including
telephones, television set top boxes, interactive voice services,
wireless phones, PDAs and various software applications. We have also
been working to develop metrics that will allow practitioners to more
easily describe the results of these scores for easy dissemination
across the product development teams and determine some of the factors,
such as user experience and task sucess rates, that might impact those
ratings. Some recent publications:
P. and Bangor, A. (2015). Usability Ratings for Everyday Products
Measured With the System Usability Scale (SUS). International Journal of
Human Computer Interaction., 31, 518-529.
A., Kortum, P. and Miller, J.A. (2009) Determining what individual SUS
scores mean: adding an adjective rating scale. Journal of Usability
A., Kortum, P. and Miller, J.A. (2008) The System Usability Scale
(SUS): An Empirical Evaluation. International
Human-Computer Interaction, 24(6).
Factors of Wireless Mobile Computing
computing is a
relatively recent phenomenon that has gained increasing penetration
in the United States. One aspect of this growth that remains unexplored
is a greater understanding of how people actually use this new wireless
mobile computing resource. In the recent past, users who needed
internet connectivity were forced to utilize laptop computers that,
while portable, couldn't really be conveniently carried everywhere you
went. With the advent of the smartphone, users now have always-on
access to the internat via traditional web browsing and a host of
dedicated applications. We hope to gain a better understanding of how
users have integrated this ubiquitious computing device into their
lives and how they use it over extended periods of time. To do this we
have recently completed a year long longitudinal study where we
measured multiple aspects of smartphone use over a years time. Some
recent publications describing this research:
Kortum, P., & Sorber, M. (2015). Measuring the usability of mobile applications for phones and tablets. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 31, 518-529.
C. C., Kortum, P., Shepard, C. W., Rahmati, A., & Zhong, L. (2015).
You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him learn: Smartphone
use in higher education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(4), 713-724.
Kortum, P., Rahmati, A., Shepard, C.W., & Zhong, L. (2012).
Characterizing web use on smartphones. Human Factors in
Systems: Proceedings of CHI 2012,
(pp 2769-2778). New York:
Association for Computing Machinery.
C.C., Kortum, P., Shepard, C.W., Rahmati, A., Barg-Walkow, L. &
Zhong, L. (2012). A Longitudinal Study of Emoticon Use in Text
Messaging from Smartphones. Computers
Behavior, 28. 659-663.
Use and Navigation
We are currently
lines of related
research in this area. The first of these is concerned with how users
deal with changes to web pages. Specifically, how do users cope when
navigation structures change over the course of several visits. Using
behavioral and eye tracking techniques, we are trying to understand how
these kinds of changes impact user performance. We are also interested
in how people use the web to find specific information that is relevant
to them, and how they determine the 'goodness' of that information.
Towards this end, we have been examining how teen users search for and
evaluate medical information on the web. Below are some recent
publications in these areas:
J. C., Tossell, C. C., Kortum, P., & Byrne, M. D. (2015). A
Bayesian approach to predicting website revisitation on mobile phones. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 83, 43-50.
L.V.F. & Kortum, P. (2009). When Links Change: How Additions
and Deletions of Single Navigation Links Affect User Performance. Journal of Usability
Studies, 5(1), 8-20.
P., Edwards, C. and Richards-Kortum, R. (2008). The Impact of
Inaccurate Internet Health Information in a Secondary School Learning
Environment. Journal of Medical
Internet Research, 10(2): e17
R., Kortum, P. and Miller, J. (2006) How users view web pages: An
exploration of cognitive and perceptual mechanisms. In Zaphiris, P and
Kurniawan, S. (Eds) Human Computer
interaction Research in Web Design and Evaluation.
Hershey, PA. Idea Group
am interested in
a number of applied human factors issues,as described in these brief
summaries of some of my ongoing work:
you are a
potential graduate student, and find one of these research areas
interesting, please don't hesitate to give me call to discuss them in