Disaster Apps: Usability Factors Affecting Continued Intention to Use

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Tan, Marion
Prasanna, Raj
Stock, Kristin
Hudson-Doyle, Emma
Leonard, Graham
Johnston, David

Smartphone applications (apps) have the potential to improve disaster resilience by providing an avenue to communicate relevant and time-critical information to the public. Multiple disaster apps already exist; however, availability does not automatically translate to continued use. Limited research has explored what influences users’ intention to continue using disaster apps.

The study theorises that users' perception of usability affects their continued intention to use disaster apps. We hypothesised seven usability factors (app design, app utility, app dependability, interface graphics, interface output, interface input, and interface structure) to influence continuance intention. We gathered user experience data through an online usability survey from disaster app users. We analysed the data through structural equation modelling; initial results show five of the seven theorised factors significantly affect continuance intention. Although the relationships have varied weights and directions; key factors to users’ intent to continue usage are their perceptions of app utility, app dependability, interface output, interface input, and interface graphics.

Future work will employ the findings from this study to develop a usability framework; providing usability guidance that will help encourage continued use of disaster apps.

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