UNT Graduate Exhibition
Technical Communication graduate student Autumn Hood earned second place in the 2015 UNT Graduate exhibition, which took place on March 7, 2015. The Graduate Exhibition is the only instance, apart from the graduation commencement, that the entire Toulouse Graduate School can unite to celebrate the volume and diversity of graduate student work. The research poster session is by far the largest of the three exhibition categories (the other two are Visual Arts and Music Performance), with over 120 poster submissions alone.
Each applicant had to present his or her research to no fewer than 4 judges; judges were of varying backgrounds and had no academic knowledge of contestants' topics. Posters were judged on the following criteria:
- 40% of their scores looked at how well contestants explained their research to a lay audience and explained its applicability and significance outside their field.
- 30% was weighted towards poster design.
- 30% was reserved for the content of the research itself.
All winners received a certificate from the graduate school, a photo op with TGS Dean Wardell, as well as incremental monetary awards.
Autumn's Study: Do users prefer Androids or iPhones? A mobile case study
Autumn's research study was conducted in our program's newest graduate course: Digital Literacies for Technical Communicators (taught in the Fall of 2015 by Dr. Chris Lam). Below is a short abstract of her study.
User experience (UX) refers to the entire interaction someone has with a product, including contextual, interface, and preferential factors--especially in terms of how pleasing it is to use or how much people enjoy using it.
Surprisingly, very few empirical UX studies exist that provide practical assessments and clear methods of gathering holistic UX values, especially for mobile platforms. With my study, I aimed to decrease this gap in knowledge and develop an accessible and reusable toolkit for measuring mobile UX. Specifically, this study looked at the Evernote mobile application and sought to identify what differences in UX, if any, exist for iOS and Android users. The study also investigated how UX may vary as users cross mobile platforms.
To complete the experimental study, UX tests were held with 14 participants, who were classified into two control groups (iPhone owners using iOS and Android owners using Android) and two experimental groups (iPhone owners using Android and Android owners using iPhones). The study yielded statistically significant findings:
- Crossover iPhone owners who used Androids exhibited more mental demand, worse performance levels, and higher levels of effort and frustration compared to all other user groups.
- Android owners who used Android phones exhibited the highest rates of satisfaction using the app.
Further research is necessary to understand the gap in UX among these user groups, from understanding users' personal digital literacy and history and its effects on mobile adaptability to placebo effects to UI best practices.