HCIL-87-04

A study of file manipulation by novices using commands vs. direct manipulation
Margono, S., Shneiderman, B.
June 1987
26th Annual Technical Symposium Washington DC Chapter of the ACM, (Gaithersburg, MD, June 11, 1987) 154-159. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 39-50.
HCIL-87-04, CS-TR-1775, CAR-TR-264
There are three basic interactive styles of control in human interfaces with computers: command, menu, and direct manipulation. In the past few years, these three styles have become the subject of many studies. However, few comparisons have been done between interfaces that use direct manipulation and command styles. This experiment compares file manipulation operations on the Apple Maccintosh, which has a direct manipulation interface, with the IBM PC with MS-DOS, which has the command interface. After a brief training period, novices accomplished file manipulation tasks more rapidly, with fewer errors and greater satisfaction with the Apple Macintosh. Problems arising for both versions are discussed and suggestions for improvements are made.
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