User experience (UX) research at Samsung Electronics
As part of my stint at Samsung Electronics, I worked on the range of research projects in the domain of text-input, personal health, low-cost smartphone, smartphone accessibility, and smart driving experiences. Below is the brief of the work done in each of these areas. Details cannot be disclosed due to the non-disclosure agreement.
I studied different design variations of keypad designs and their effect on typing performance. In particular, I explored the effect of key shapes on typing accuracy and speed on Samsung devices. In addition to qualitative interviews and quantitative typing metrics (such as speed and number of errors), I also explored the touch point distributions of key presses.
Personal health technologies:
I worked on Samsung’s flagship health application S-health. I conducted user interviews to examine the fitness-related behaviors in urban India. Based on a series of usability tests and focus group sessions, I along with my team restructured the information architecture of S-health application. This project also paved the way for social media integration (including linking S-health help menu with relevant topics in Quora forums).
Re-emerging markets such as India are destined to be the largest internet consuming and smartphone owning country by 2020. However, the high cost of high-end smartphones and poor quality of low-end smartphones has made it difficult for a large population of India to adopt this technology as fast as we had expected. This triggered our research on understanding the technological needs of low socioeconomic segments in India. This research resulted in the design Samsung Z1 smartphone series that runs on the Tizen operating system.
In addition to a challenging yet interesting research project, this was also an opportunity for me to foster better industry-academia relationships. As part of this project, we collaborated with several research institutions in India and conducted extensive user research to explore the difficulties faced by physically challenged individuals in using their smartphones. This project resulted in the “accessibility unlock” feature on Samsung Galaxy S7 device.
Future driving experiences:
India is soon going to be the most vehicle owned nation in the world comparable to China. With the rapid increase in smartphone and automobile ownership, we decided to explore avenues for smart/connected cars in urban India. As a result of this study, we identified several design opportunities that led to the design of connected car features using Samsung Galaxy S7 devices.
Ghosh, S., Seshagiri, S., & Ponnada, A. (2016, May). Exploring Regional User Experience for Designing Ultra Low-Cost Smartphones. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 768-776). ACM.
Jain, M., Seshagiri, S. & Ponnada, A. (2015, December). “So You Think You Are a Multitasker?” – A Qualitative Study to Understand Multitasking, In Proceedings of the 27th Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, OzCHI’2015 (pp 535-539). ACM.
Seshagiri, S., & Ponnada, A. (2015). Exploring Smart-Car Space in Urban India. In Cross-Cultural Design Applications in Mobile Interaction, Education, Health, Transport and Cultural Heritage(pp. 161-173). Springer International Publishing.
Dr. Sarita Seshagiri (Research Consultant and Visiting Prof. International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore, India, previously research lead at Samsung Electronics), Minal Jain (UX Researcher, Uber. Previously, Design Researcher at Samsung Electronics)