Usability Principles for Augmented Reality Applications in a Smartphone Environment

Sang Min Ko, Won Suk Chang, Yong Gu Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Through the rapid spread of smartphones, users have access to many types of applications similar to those on desktop computer systems. Smartphone applications using augmented reality (AR) technology make use of users' location information. As AR applications will require new evaluation methods, improved usability and user convenience should be developed. The purpose of the current study is to develop usability principles for the development and evaluation of smartphone applications using AR technology. We develop usability principles for smartphone AR applications by analyzing existing research about heuristic evaluation methods, design principles for AR systems, guidelines for handheld mobile device interfaces, and usability principles for the tangible user interface. We conducted a heuristic evaluation for three popularly used smartphone AR applications to identify usability problems. We suggested new design guidelines to solve the identified problems. Then, we developed an improved AR application prototype of an Android-based smartphone, which later was conducted a usability testing to validate the effects of usability principles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-515
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A preliminary version of this article was published in Korean in the Journal of Korean Institute of CALS/EC, 16, 35–47, 2011. This work was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2012R1A1A2006949).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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