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Title:Learning to use hypertext systems with metaphors: An interface design perspective
Author(s):Lin, Liang-Yi
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Dennis, J. Richard
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Technology of
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:As hypertext systems are becoming more and more powerful and popular, users are faced with the problem of adapting to the innovative style of information retrieval. Because of this, there is a need to articulate strategies which can be applied to hypertext environments to make the transition from the more traditional style to the hypertext style of information retrieval easier for the users.
This study proposes the strategy of adopting existing information retrieval metaphors in interface design for hypertext systems as a starting point for bridging the gaps between the two different styles of information retrieval. Three experiments were conducted to respond to the research questions. A hypertext information system on St. Louis' tourist information was constructed as a major instrument for the study.
Experiment 1 examined the phenomenon of metaphor-task correspondence by observing subjects assigned to accomplish different types of tasks by using the different interfaces of a system. Experiments 2 and 3 investigated the effectiveness of adopting multiple metaphors for interface design for hypertext systems. Subjects using either a single interface or multiple interfaces of a system in learning the system were compared in one training session and three sessions respectively.
The findings of the three experiments led to the following general conclusions: (1) A single metaphor adopted for interface design is more effective with tasks that closely match the interface model than when the match is less close. (2) Adopting a multiple-interface model in contrast to a single-interface model in interface design for hypertext systems would produce a different learning development. At the initial stage, the single-interface environment would allow users to have an easier start than the multiple-interface environment. As experience with the information system increases, the benefit of a multiple-interface environment over the single-interface environment would begin to show. (3) There is an indication that given enough training time, the information system which adopts a multiple-interface design model would produce in users more flexible mental models for the system than a single interface design model.
The limitations of using single-metaphor models and the implications of adopting multiple metaphors in interface design for hypertext systems are discussed.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Lin, Liang-Yi
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9010936
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9010936

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