Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Quantifying Device Usefulness - How Useful is an Obsolete Device?

Goodwin, Craig; Woolley, Sandra; de Quincey, Ed; Collins, Tim


Craig Goodwin

Tim Collins


Obsolete devices add to the rising levels of electronic waste, a major environmental concern, and a contributing factor to climate change. In recent years, device manufacturers have established environmental commitments and launched initiatives such as supporting the recycling of obsolete devices by making more ways available for consumers to safely dispose of their old devices. However, little support is available for individuals who want to continue using legacy or ‘end-of-life’ devices and few studies have explored the usefulness of these older devices, the barriers to their continued use and the associated user experiences. With a human-computer interaction lens, this paper reflects on device usefulness as a function of utility and usability, and on the barriers to continued device use and app installation. Additionally, the paper contributes insights from a sequel study that extends on prior work evaluating app functionality of a ‘vintage’ Apple device with new empirical data on app downloadability and functionality for the same device when newly classified as ‘obsolete’. A total of 230 apps, comprising the top 10 free App Store apps for each of 23 categories, were assessed for downloadability and functionality on an Apple iPad Mini tablet. Although only 20 apps (8.7%) could be downloaded directly onto the newly obsolete device, 143 apps (62.2%) could be downloaded with the use of a different non-legacy device. Of these 163 downloadable apps, 131 apps (comprising 57% of all 230 apps and 80.4% of the downloadable apps) successfully installed, opened, and functioned. This was a decrease of only 4.3% in functional apps (of the 230 total apps) compared to the performance of the device when previously classified as ‘vintage’.

Conference Name INTERACT 2023 - 19th IFIP TC13 International Conference
Conference Location York, UK
Start Date Aug 28, 2023
End Date Sep 1, 2023
Acceptance Date Aug 26, 2023
Online Publication Date Aug 26, 2023
Publication Date Aug 26, 2023
Deposit Date Aug 29, 2023
Publicly Available Date Aug 27, 2024
Publisher Springer Nature [academic journals on]
Volume 14145
Pages 90-99
Series Title Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Series ISSN 0302-9743
Book Title Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2023
ISBN 9783031422928; 9783031422935
Publisher URL
Additional Information First Online: 26 August 2023; Conference Acronym: INTERACT; Conference Name: IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction; Conference City: York; Conference Country: United Kingdom; Conference Year: 2023; Conference Start Date: 28 August 2023; Conference End Date: 1 September 2023; Conference Number: 19; Conference ID: interact2023; Type: Double-blind; Conference Management System: PCS; Number of Submissions Sent for Review: 406; Number of Full Papers Accepted: 71; Number of Short Papers Accepted: 58; Acceptance Rate of Full Papers: 17% - The value is computed by the equation "Number of Full Papers Accepted / Number of Submissions Sent for Review * 100" and then rounded to a whole number.; Average Number of Reviews per Paper: 4,01; Average Number of Papers per Reviewer: 2,75; External Reviewers Involved: Yes; Additional Info on Review Process: Courses: 6 Industrial Experiences: 2 Interactive demos: 10 Panels: 2 Keynotes: 2 Posters: 44 Workshop summaries: 16- Submissions -As for full paper: 220 As for short papers: 186


This file is under embargo until Aug 27, 2024 due to copyright reasons.

Contact to request a copy for personal use.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations