Usability Evaluation of a Tangible User Interface and Serious Game for Identification of Cognitive Deficiencies in Preschool Children

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Abstract—Detecting deficits in reading and writing literacy
skills has been of great interest in the scientific community to
correlate executive functions with future academic skills. In the
present study, a prototype of a serious multimedia runner-type
game was developed, Play with SID, designed to detect deficiencies
in cognitive abilities in preschool children (sustained attention,
memory, working memory, visuospatial abilities, and reaction
time), before learning to read and write. Usability tests are used in
Human-Computer Interaction to determine the feasibility of a
system; it is the proof of concepts before the development of real
systems. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the usability of the
interface of the serious game, as well as the tangible user interface,
a teddy bear with motion sensors. A usability study using the
Wizard of Oz technique was conducted with 18 neurotypical
preschool participants, ages 4 to 6. Concepts related to
interactivity (interaction, the fulfillment of the activity objective,
reaction to stimuli, and game time without distraction) were
observed, as well as eye-tracking to assess attention and the
Usability Scale System (SUS) to measure usability. According to
the usability evaluation (confidence interval between 74.74% and
90.47%), the prototype has good to excellent usability, with no
statistically significant differences between the age groups. The
observed concept with the highest score was the game time
without distraction. This characteristic will allow evaluating
sustained attention. Also, we found out that the tangible interface
use leads to the observation of laterality development, which will
be added to the design of the serious game. The use of
observation-based usability assessment techniques is useful for
obtaining information from the participants when their
communication skills are developing, and the expression of their
perception in detail is limited.

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