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Usability Assessment Of Agricultural Mobile Applications In The Greek Market

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Nowadays, we are witnesses to an unpreceded growth of infrastructure and technology, especially in the mobile services and applications domain. However, not all mobile applications prove suitable for meeting end-users anticipations. In order for an application to properly address the users’ needs, it has to feature usability or, in other words, be effective, efficient and satisfactory. The aim of this paper is to study agricultural mobile applications available for smartphones in the Greek market and conduct a thorough evaluation of their usability characteristics. The paper materials and methods employed involve the conduction of two separate usability evaluation surveys of five selected agricultural applications. The first one includes a heuristic analysis performed by three experts in design and human factors. The second one is a survey performed with end-users and specifically involves a user group of ten agricultural professionals, who were asked to rate the applications with respect to five different dimensions affecting usability. Both methods included properly composed questionnaires conforming to relevant international usability standards and best practices (such as the ten heuristics of Nielsen) and suitably selected Likert scales. Results show that some of the applications under consideration feature severe design and functionality flaws (e.g. with respect to system feedback and recovery from errors) that could limit their usefulness as well as their impact on farmers’ everyday activities. In conclusion, both of the employed methods acted in a complementary fashion and their joint utilization revealed design flaws that could be addressed and improved in subsequent application development.

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