The study of cognitive responses and processes while using applications is a critical field in human–computer interaction. This paper aims to determine the mental effort required for different typical tasks with smartphones. Mental effort is typically associated with the concept of cognitive load, and has been studied by analyzing electroencephalography (EEG) signals. Thus, this paper shows the results of analyzing the cognitive load of a set of characteristic tasks on smartphones. To determine the set of tasks to analyze, this paper proposes a taxonomy of smartphone-based actions defined after considering the related proposals in the literature and identifying the significant characteristics of the tasks to classify them. The EEG data was obtained through an experiment with real users doing tasks from the aforementioned taxonomy. The results show significant differences in the cognitive load of each task category and identify those tasks that involve a higher degree of mental effort. The results will be the starting point of the M4S project that aims to contribute to the early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment through monitoring everyday dual-tasking in terms of interaction with smartphones.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited