Articles

An Experimental Investigation of the Cognitive Processing Effort Involved in Direct Manipulation Interfaces

P. A. TODD, I. BENBASAT, K. H. LIM

ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction

March 1996, vol. 3, n°1, pp.1-37

Departments: Information Systems and Operations Management

http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=226160


Norman proposed a model describing the sequence of user activities involved in human-computer interaction. Through this model, Norman provides a rationale for why direct-manipulation interfaces may be preferred to other design alternatives. Based on action identification theory we developed several hypotheses about the operations of Norman's model and tested them in a laboratory experiment. The results show that users of a direct-manipulation interface and a menu-based interface did not differ in the total amount of time used to perform a task. However, with the direct-manipulation interface, more time is devoted to performing motor actions, but this is offset by shorter nonmotor time. Furthermore, there are significant interactions between task familiarity, instructions, and the type of interface, indicating that Norman's model may not hold under all conditions


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