The User Experience of Digital News: Reading and Authentication on Browser Optimized Versions and Digital Replicas
Permanent address of the item is
Digitaalisten Uutisten Käyttökokemus: Lukeminen ja Tunnistautuminen Selainoptimoidulla Versioilla ja Näköislehdillä
Even though both user experience (UX) and digital news are relatively old concepts, still there are multiple definitions used in the literature even today. The long-term UX of digital replicas and browser optimized versions of digital news with or without authentication is not studied earlier in real life with actual users. Thus the goal of this thesis was to clarify ambiguity in the terminology of UX and digital news, and to examine how users experience digital replicas, tablet browser optimized versions and a Next Media –key authentication method in a real usage context over a longer period of time. This thesis consists of a literature review, two semi-long user evaluation studies (one with 15 and one with 17 actual users) in real context of use which used both questionnaires and interviews as data gathering methods, and one heuristic evaluation (5 usability experts). In the literature review issues related to definitions of user experience and digital news were explored. The user evaluation studies were conducted to find out the UX of the two digital news forms and the authentication method in a real context of use over time. The heuristic evaluation was used to determine the usability issues between three different tablet browser optimized versions in order to give ideas for their future development. The results revealed that both the browser optimized versions and the digital replicas are user’s favorite ways of reading digital news due to similarities to traditional print newspapers. The Next Media –key has potential for becoming liked and widely used authentication method for digital news and should be developed further. The overall UX of these versions, and the usability of the tablet versions, could still be improved even though the UX increased over time. Temporal aspect of digital news reading usage context revealed the newest viewpoints. Overall the longer term UX studies are worthy. The results of this thesis could be used by all media companies who publish digital news content in order to provide their readers good UX and thus benefit financially. The terminology of UX and digital news were also presented according to today’s knowledge. In future studies it would be interesting to continue examining long-term user experience of digital news and the Next Media –key so that optimal solutions for both of them could be found.