The Usability of Hidden Functional Elements in Mobile User Interfaces
Chapter, Peer reviewed, Conference object, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Conference on Enterprise Information Systems. 2023, 2 256-263. 978-989-758-648-4
The trend of maximizing mobile screen real estate by hiding user interface features has been in use for some time. However, there is a lack of empirical knowledge concerning the real usability issues of using this strategy. In this paper, we present novel and statistically significant evidence to suggest that hiding user interface elements decreases usability in terms of performance and user experience. We conducted a within-users experiment comparing identical user interfaces, where the only differences between them were that one version hid the user interface elements and the other version had all the user interface elements visible to the user. We recorded task times, errors and user satisfaction for a series of tasks. We also discuss our results in light of existing user interface design guidelines and show that our results are in harmony with existing guidelines.