Understanding information preview in mobile email processing
Abstract: Browsing a collection of information on a mobile device is a
common task, yet it can be difficult due to the small size of mobile displays. A common
trade-off offered by many current mobile interfaces is to allow users to switch between
an overview and detailed views of particular items. An open question is how much
preview of each item to include in the overview. Using a mobile email processing task,
we attempted to answer that question. We investigated participants' email processing
behaviors under differing preview conditions in a semi-controlled, naturalistic study.
We collected log data of participants' actual behaviors as well as their subjective
impressions of different conditions. Our results suggest that a moderate level of two
to three lines of preview should be the default. The overall benefit of a moderate
amount of preview was supported by both positive subjective ratings and fewer
transitions between the overview and individual items.