Proceedings: GI 2015

A comparison of visual and textual city portal designs on desktop and mobile interfaces

Carolyn Pang, Carman Neustaedter, Jason Procyk, Bernhard Riecke

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2015: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 3 - 5 June 2015, 211-218

DOI 10.20380/GI2015.27

  • BibTex

    author = {Pang, Carolyn and Neustaedter, Carman and Procyk, Jason and Riecke, Bernhard},
    title = {A comparison of visual and textual city portal designs on desktop and mobile interfaces},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2015},
    series = {GI 2015},
    year = {2015},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-4822-6003-8},
    location = {Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada},
    pages = {211--218},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2015.27},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},


Cities have recently begun to focus on how digital technology can better inform and engage people through an online presence containing web portals for desktop computers and mobile devices. Yet we do not know whether common user interface design strategies apply to government portal design given their vast repositories of information for citizens of varying ages. This mixed-methods study compares the usability of desktop and mobile interfaces for two types of city portals, textual and visual, using the System Usability Scale, a standardized usability questionnaire. Using a set of twelve tasks, we evaluated three usability aspects of two city portals: effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction. Our results suggest there was a main effect between textual and visual designs, with users rating the textual design on a mobile device higher than a visual design. From this, we suggest that responsive design may not be the best fit when designing city portals to be experienced for use on desktop and mobile devices.