HCIL-87-12

The menu metaphor: food for thought
Norman, K., Chin, J.
Oct. 1987
Behavior and Information Technology, 8, 125-134.
HCIL-87-12, CS-TR-1944, CAR-TR-334
Menu selection in human/computer interaction is a metaphor of the restaurant menu. Although menu selection is widely used, its scope is currently limited, narrow, and information lean. A comparison of the restaurant menu and the computer menu reveal th e following: The correspondence of elements and features between restaurant and computer menus suggests a powerful metaphor. Second, there are a number of advantages of dynamic computer menus over static listings common to restaurants. Finally, restaur ant menus have the advantage of breadth, richness, and graphic layout as well as a system of support ( the server) that is unparalleled in current computer applications. An analysis of deficiencies in computer menus should prove invaluable in developing the next generation of menu selection techniques.
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