Nodobo is a suite of software, developed at the University of Strathclyde, which allows precise capture and replay of smartphone user interactions sessions. This enables new usability testing experiments which can examine how your smartphone applications or mobile websites are used in the real world, allowing UX engineers to take into account device and user context when evaluating the captured data.
Latest update: Nodobo dataset released! Now available with tools for free download.Publications list: please cite our publications if you use the data.
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The continuous growth of the mobile handset sector over the past decade has led to an enormous increase in the level of technology available at the top end of the handset market. Modern smart "phones" are better described as highly powerful handheld computers with permanent Internet connections. This power is largely untapped, with the phone idle for the majority of the day.
We can use these spare resources to capture a huge breadth of information about how people interact with their phones. Nodobo is a suite of software tools, developed at the University of Strathclyde over the past year. The main component is Nodobo Capture, which runs in the background of the Google Android operating system, detecting and recording social context and device usage information. This data is processed with Nodobo Replay to precisely reproduce mobile phone interaction sessions, almost as if the user was wearing a head-mounted camera, but also including detailed context information from the Capture component.
Nodobo Capture records the screen of the phone at around 5 frames per second, in addition to touchscreen and hardware button interactions from the user. Concurrently it records device context information, including phone calls, text messages, Bluetooth proximity, location and positioning, application usage, touchscreen presses, screen contents, and much more. This data is stored on the device's flash drive, and is synchronised for analysis through USB or over the Internet.
Nodobo Replay imports the captured data and reconstructs a user interaction session. This is primarily intended for usability evaluations: deploy your application with Nodobo Capture in the background, and replay exactly how it was used, including all the captured device context data.
Currently, Nodobo is being evaluated and developed further in the research labs at the University of Strathclyde, and we hope to establish partnerships with our academic and industrial colleagues. We also have a trial of 27 high school students, each with a Google Nexus One phone running Nodobo Capture. The resulting data reveals a great deal about the use of smartphones by teenagers, and is also undergoing analysis in order to map the social network of the school year.
Alisdair McDiarmid, 2011