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The hidden costs of graphical user interfaces: users’ failures to make the transition from menus and icon tool bars to keyboard shortcuts

Domenii publicaţii > Ştiinţe sociale + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în revistã ştiinţificã

Autori: Lane, D.M., Napier A., Peres, C.S., Sándor, A.

Editorial: International Journal of Human Computer Interaction, 18 (2), p.133-145, 2005.


Graphical interfaces allow users to issue commands using pull-down menus, icon tool bars, and keyboard shortcuts. Menus and icon tool bars are easier to learn whereas keyboard shortcuts are more efficient. It would seem natural for users to migrate from the use of easy-to-learn menu and icon methods to the more efficient method of keyboard shortcuts as they gain experience. To
investigate the extent to which this transition takes place, 251 experienced users of Microsoft Word were given a questionnaire assessing their choice of methods for the most-frequentlyoccurring
commands. Contrary to our expectations, most experienced users rarely used the
efficient keyboard shortcuts, favoring the use of icon tool bars instead. A second study was done to verify that keyboard shortcuts are, indeed, the most efficient method. Nine subjects performed common commands using menu selection, icon tool bars, and keyboard shortcuts. The keyboard shortcuts were, as expected, the most efficient. We conclude that even experienced users are
inefficient in their use of graphical interfaces. One possible way to improve user efficiency is for training programs to provide a roadmap for users to make the transition from using pull-down
menus and clicking icon tool bars to issuing keyboard shortcuts.

Cuvinte cheie: human-computer interaction, keyboard shortcuts