Title: A method for assessing the usability of an on screen display for a brain-computer interface

Authors: Melanie P. Ware; Gaye Lightbody; Paul J. McCullagh; Maurice D. Mulvenna; Suzanne Martin; Eileen Thomson

Addresses: School of Computing and Mathematics, University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB, UK ' School of Computing and Mathematics, University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB, UK ' School of Computing and Mathematics, University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB, UK ' School of Computing and Mathematics, University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB, UK ' Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Institute (HRSRI), School of Health Sciences, University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB, UK ' Cedar Foundation, 31 Ulsterville Avenue, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT9 7AS, UK

Abstract: Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) aim to provide a mechanism by which individuals with severe forms of paralysis can communicate their wishes to others or gain control over devices in their environment. This paper describes the evaluation of an interface designed for use with BCI, which is dedicated to providing a flexible and extensible framework for controlling multiple devices within a domestic environment. A structured format for assessing the usability aspects of this interface is presented. The goal-question-metric (GQM) approach derived from measurement in software engineering was used, providing a mechanism that can be readily adapted to assess other interfaces in assistive technology. The assessment was based on interaction of five participants currently using assistive technology who provided an initial representation of the target user group. Their input, in addition to guidance from a lead user, was used to influence subsequent design choices and directions and highlight the importance of user-centred design within BCI development.

Keywords: human-computer interface; HCI; brain-computer interface; BCI; steady-state visually evoked potential; SSVEP; assistive technology; usability assessment; user-centred design; goal-question-metric; GQM; paralysis; on-screen display; healthcare technology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCIH.2014.065811

International Journal of Computers in Healthcare, 2014 Vol.2 No.1, pp.43 - 67

Received: 01 Feb 2014
Accepted: 22 Jul 2014

Published online: 14 Nov 2014 *

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