Multimodal field data entry: performance and usability issues

Irina Kondratova, Joanna Lumsden, Nathan Langton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Mobile technologies have yet to be widely adopted by the Architectural, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry despite being one of the major growth areas in computing in recent years. This lack of uptake in the AEC industry is likely due, in large part, to the combination of small screen size and inappropriate interaction demands of current mobile technologies. This paper discusses the scope for multimodal interaction design with a specific focus on speech-based interaction to enhance the suitability of mobile technology use within the AEC industry by broadening the field data input capabilities of such technologies. To investigate the appropriateness of using multimodal technology for field data collection in the AEC industry, we have developed a prototype Multimodal Field Data Entry (MFDE) application. This application, which allows concrete testing technicians to record quality control data in the field, has been designed to support two different modalities of data input speech-based data entry and stylus-based data entry. To compare the effectiveness or usability of, and user preference for, the different input options, we have designed a comprehensive lab-based evaluation of the application. To appropriately reflect the anticipated context of use within the study design, careful consideration had to be given to the key elements of a construction site that would potentially influence a test technician's ability to use the input techniques. These considerations and the resultant evaluation design are discussed in detail in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe proceedings of the joint international conference on computing and decision making in civil and building engineering 2006
Subtitle of host publicationMontréal, Québec, canada. June 14-16, 2006.
Place of PublicationRotterdam (NL)
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventJoint international conference on Computing and Decision Making in Civil and Building Engineering - Montréal, Québec, Canada
Duration: 14 Jun 200616 Jun 2006


ConferenceJoint international conference on Computing and Decision Making in Civil and Building Engineering
CityMontréal, Québec


  • mobile field data collection
  • multimodal interaction
  • mobile usability
  • speech recognition


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