Exploring the Usability of the German COVID-19 Contact Tracing App in a Combined Eye Tracking and Retrospective Think Aloud Study

Universität Ulm

Presentation at the 43rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society; Michael Winter, Online, Online, 1 November 2021, 1:00 PM

In the course of the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic, many digital solutions for mobile devices (e.g., apps) were presented in order to provide additional resources supporting the control of the pandemic. Contact tracing apps (i.e., identify persons who may have been in contact with a COVID-19 infected) constitute one of the most popular as well as promising solutions. However, as a prerequisite for an effective application, such apps highly depend on being used by large numbers of the population. Consequently, it is important that these apps offer a high usability for everyone. We therefore conducted an exploratory study to learn more about the usability of the German COVID-19 contact tracing app Corona-Warn-App (CWA). More specifically, N = 15 participants assessed the CWA, relying on a combined eye tracking and retrospective think aloud approach. The results indicate, on the one hand, that the CWA leaves a promising impression for pandemic control, as essential functions are easily recognized. However, on the other hand, issues were revealed (e.g., privacy policy) that could be addressed in future updates more properly.