Effects of RSVP display design on visual performance in accomplishing dual tasks with small screens

Chien Hsiung Chen, Yu Hung Chien*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) represents a mechanism for exhibiting temporal information instead of spatial information to overcome the limitations of small-screen devices. Previous studies examining this area focused only on information presented by RSVP displays and disregarded changes in the performance of accompanying tasks associated with such displays. Therefore, this investigation performed a dual-task experiment (a search task for static information and a reading task for RSVP display information) to examine the effects of presentation mode (character-by-character, word-by-word, and one-line format), speed (171, 260, 350, and 430 characters per minute, or cpm), and text-flow orientation (vertical and horizontal orientation) of RSVP display information on the visual performance of users during different stages of usage (whether current usage is the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, or eighth day of usage) for a small screen. The results showed that RSVP display design factors did not distract participants from static information search tasks but did affect participant reading comprehension on RSVP displays. Speed and presentation modes significantly influenced the participants' reading comprehension. Participants performed best at speeds ranging from 171 to 350 cpm and performed worst at 430 cpm. The word-by-word and one-line format presentation modes achieved considerably higher comprehension scores than the character-by-character format. However, text-flow orientation did not significantly affect reading comprehension. Additionally, participants' reading comprehension on the first day of usage was significantly worse than that on the other five days. Finally, the possible applications of RSVP displays and the implications of these findings on reading Chinese text are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Design
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Apr


  • Display
  • Mobile communication
  • Rapid serial visual presentation
  • Small screen
  • Visual performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Marketing


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