Memory for hierarchical menus: effects of study mode
Norman, K., Schwartz, J.
Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 25, 163-166.
Computer users need training on menu selection systems to remember how to access target functions. This experiment investigated the effects of studying documentation before searching for target words in a content-free menu. Subjects studied one of the following: sequences of choices to arrive at a desired target (command-sequence mode), individual display screens (menu-frame mode), a diagram of the menu tree (global-tree mode), or the menu system by actually selecting alternatives (trial-and-error mod e). Although the global-tree and command-sequence groups found the most target words during the test phase, the four groups did not differ significantly. On the other hand, differences in the ability to recall menu terms were significant, with the comma nd-sequence and menu-frame groups recalling the most terms. Results indicated that the type of training fundamentally affected the type of information used to find targets.
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