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IJHCI Tables of Contents: 0102030405060708091011121314

International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 4

Editors:Gavriel Salvendy
Publisher:Ablex Publishing Corporation
Standard No:ISSN 1044-7318
Links:Table of Contents
  1. IJHCI 1992 Volume 4 Issue 1
  2. IJHCI 1992 Volume 4 Issue 2
  3. IJHCI 1992 Volume 4 Issue 3
  4. IJHCI 1992 Volume 4 Issue 4

IJHCI 1992 Volume 4 Issue 1


The Applications of Cognitive Theory and Science to HCI: A Psychological Perspective BIB iii-v
  David L. Morrison


Towards a Cognitive Browser for OOPS BIBA 1-34
  T. R. G. Green; D. J. Gilmore; B. B. Blumenthal; S. Davies; R. Winder
Software engineers have developed sophisticated "object-oriented" programming environments that are intended to make the reuse of program code easy. Experience has shown that these environments can be improved: Even very experienced programmers have problems in locating and comprehending code for reuse. Programs cannot be modified as readily as had been anticipated. We describe the problems in terms of "cognitive dimensions" of notational systems and show how improved support for opportunistic design may be achieved. A central tenet is that programmers are not at present able to externalize enough of their knowledge about a program. We propose a scheme for attaching a "description level" in which arbitrary attributes and relationships can be recorded in a "browsable" form. Our conclusions stress improving the means for programmers to represent facts rather than the provision of predefined knowledge bases.
Conceptual Instructions Derived from an Analysis of Device Models BIBA 35-57
  Stephen J. Payne; Andrew Howes; Elain Hill
This article advances a heuristic for conceptual instruction, based on the yoked-state space (YSS) hypothesis about the contents of users' device models (Payne, 1987a; Payne, Squibb, & Howes, 1990). The YSS hypothesis suggests that users of a system need to understand the system's representation of the task domain. Accordingly, conceptual instructions should express the mapping from device objects onto goal-space objects, especially those aspects that are not visible at the user interface. Such instructions are developed for a menu-driven computer system based on the RATES system for performing remote diagnosis of telephone lines. A simple comparative experiment shows that novices who receive these instructions learn to use RATES more quickly than novices who receive only background instruction and a brief procedural manual. These results increase empirical support for the YSS hypothesis, and, at the same time, suggest a heuristic for the design of conceptual instructions.
Using Neural Net Modeling for User Assistance in HCI Tasks BIBA 59-77
  Ray Eberts; Leticia Villegas; Colleen Phillips; Cindelyn Eberts
In the UNIX operating system, many complex operations can be done using a single command line, in the most efficient method, or they can be done using several command lines of simple commands, in a less efficient method. Recognizing when and how to use these efficient commands is difficult for novice users and for many experts. Five UNIX-based tasks were constructed that could be done using many simple commands, or they could be performed using one or two more complex and efficient commands. Subjects were asked to perform these tasks using the most efficient methods they could. Many different command sequences were generated from these subjects. These data were then used in a neural net model to map the comments to message markers for task assistance. An experiment was devised to test how well users could utilize the mappings of inefficient commands to help messages from the neural net. In the neural net assisted condition, subjects received assistance for the most efficient command whenever the neural net model detected that a command could be done more efficiently. This condition was compared to one in which the subjects could use off-line help and to a control condition where subjects received no assistance. Results showed that the neural net assisted group was better able to find the most efficient commands, the variance of the tasks was reduced when compared to the other groups, and performance was related to the number of efficient commands needed, rather than the difficulty or uncertainty of the task.
Interactive Multimedia for Instruction: A Cognitive Analysis of the Role of Audition and Vision BIBA 79-99
  Kevin Hapeshi; Dylan Jones
Interactive multimedia provide a platform for delivering instructional material in different modalities and styles. Experimental work on learning and memory is extensive, particularly for verbal learning. However, little attention has been paid to the relative effectiveness of auditory and visual presentation. We warn against simply transferring techniques developed in more traditional audiovisual systems, arguing instead for an approach based on experimental analysis. In this article we review studies that suggest a series of tentative guidelines on the use of auditory and visual presentation in multimedia learning systems. These guidelines are intended as an aid to both programme developers and users, but they also serve to highlight areas requiring further research.

IJHCI 1992 Volume 4 Issue 2


Thinking or Acting? Mental Workload and Subjective Preferences for a Command Code and a Direct Manipulation Interaction Style BIBA 105-122
  Edmund Eberleh; Wilfried Korfmacher; Norbert A. Streitz
Subjects practiced drawing a figure on a computer screen by means of two interaction styles: Command codes and direct manipulation. These two interaction styles demanded different cognitive resources of the user and different times to perform the task. After practice, subjects performed multiple trials in three experimental conditions: in a time-limit condition, with office noise, and in a neutral working condition. The drawing task was performed concurrently with one of three secondary tasks, each tapping different resources. In Experiment 1, subjects were divided into two equal size groups. Each group performed the task with only one of the two learned interaction styles. Secondary and primary task performance indicated no difference in workload between the two interaction styles. Only at the most demanding secondary task did the use of command codes result in higher workload. In Experiment 2, subjects performed the drawing task in each trial using their preferred interaction style. Consistent individual preferences for the interaction styles and a flexible use of the styles according to working conditions emerged with improved performance.
The Impact of New Technology by Occupation and Age on Work in Financial Firms: a 2-Year Follow-Up BIBA 123-142
  Pekka Huuhtanen; Tuula Leino
The assessment of expectancies and experiences concerning the effects of new applications in different occupations and age groups were analyzed as one part of a longitudinal study conducted in 1985 and 1987. Also, respondents' own subjective feelings of mastering the applications were studied. The follow-up sample consisted of 803 employees in four banks and two insurance companies in Finland. New integrated and flexible on-line systems were implemented in most of the target organizations. The questionnaire method was used in 1985 and 1987.
   In general, new computer applications were experienced to have more often increased than decreased positive characteristics at work. Both the occupational groups and the age groups differed significantly in their expectancies and experiences of the applications. Analyses of variance showed that the expectations about the effects of new applications on job complexity, autonomy, social interaction, and job appreciation differed significantly according to occupation in 1985, but not according to age. In 1987, occupation was no longer as significant as earlier in explaining real changes in the studied work characteristics. More often, experiences varied significantly according to age group. The youngest employees tended to feel that positive traits at work had increased more.
   In both years, occupation was significant in explaining mastery of applications. The decrease in mastery of applications showed that during the implementation period, more attention should be paid to finding suitable methods of training employees in different occupational and age groups.
An Experimental Investigation of the Roles of the Computer Interface and Individual Characteristics in the Learning of Computer Systems BIBA 143-172
  Sid Davis; Robert Bostrom
The widespread use of computers in organizations places increasing demands on computer trainers and designers to insure that users acquire skills in the most effective ways possible. One generally accepted way to achieve this goal has been to provide users with systems that are user friendly, that tend to reduce learning time, and are fairly comprehensible. Up to this point, this prescription has been applied to the user community as a whole. However, recent research suggests that characteristics of individual users can exert a powerful influence on learning outcomes and may affect the success of a given interface strategy. This study investigates the impact of two types of computer interfaces on learning performance and attitudes toward using a computer system: a direct manipulation interface (the Apple Macintosh) and a command-based interface (Disk Operating System DOS). It also compares the impacts of two different learner characteristics: individual learning mode and visual ability. Results of the study indicate that subjects using the direct manipulation interface performed much better than those using the command-based interface. Also, high visual subjects performed better overall than low visual subjects and tended to perceive the systems as easier to use. Learning mode had no effect either on performance or attitudes toward the system. These results are explained in light of theory suggesting that users form mental models of systems with which they interact. Conclusions are drawn from these findings, and recommendations are made for future research.
VDT Work Affects Urinary Excretion of Catecholamines in the Young BIBA 173-181
  Toshiko Tanaka; Sakae Yamamoto
Urinary excretions of catecholamines in young volunteers were examined during VDT work to evaluate whether VDT work affected sympathetic and adrenal function. The time course of work performance was also monitored. The excretion of catecholamines did not increase after the reference work with hard copy. Adrenaline excretion tended to increase after VDT work with large print, although the noradrenaline excretion did not change. After VDT work with small print, noradrenaline excretion increased significantly, and adrenaline excretion tended to increase. The work speed of the VDT group using small print in the early period was slower than that of the hard-copy group or the VDT group using large print, but the difference diminished in the late period. Abrupt decreases in work speed, considered a result of exhaustion, did not appear in any group. These results suggest that VDT work may act as a stronger workload for the sympathoadrenal system than hard-copy work, and it also suggests that VDT workload may be worsened by small print size.
A Validation of Ergonomic Criteria for the Evaluation of Human-Computer Interfaces BIBA 183-196
  J. M. Christian Bastien; Dominique L. Scapin
This article presents the results of an experiment designed to validate a set of ergonomic criteria for the evaluation of human-computer interfaces. Criteria definitions that were designed in a previous study, were tested in a concept-identification task. Twenty-four subjects (12 human factors specialists and 12 nonspecialists) were asked to identify the criterion, within a set of 18 elementary criteria, that was violated for each of 36 usability problems. The results show no difference between groups either in terms of performance times or correct identifications. The mean percentage of correct identifications was 59.85%. This result calls for the refinement of some definitions. A detailed examination of the data and an analysis of confusion matrices permits the identification of categories of well-defined criteria and categories of criteria that would benefit from improvements in their definitions. These results seem to support the feasibility of an evaluation method based on explicitly defined criteria.
A Longitudinal Study of VDT Work and Health BIBA 197-219
  Ulf Bergqvist; Bengt Knave; Mararetha Voss; Roger Wibom
A longitudinal study on the use of visual display terminals (VDTs) was conducted with questionnaire data obtained 1981 and in 1987-1988 from a cohort of office workers. The use of VDTs became more widespread in these offices during the intervening time period, but the time spent by individuals working at VDTs showed no general increase. The data suggested that VDT use was related to the risk of developing eye discomforts and hand and wrist problems. For skin problems and headache, risks for VDT and non-VDT users were fairly similar, but indications of increased risks were found for certain groups and situations. The risks of developing neck, shoulder, shoulder joint, or upper arm problems were high for both VDT and non-VDT users, but there were, in this study, no convincing suggestions that these risks were higher for VDT users compared to nonusers.

Technical Report

Effects of an Episode of Intensive Keying on Data Process Operators BIBA 221-226
  G. Anthony Ryan
In 1983, as part of a larger study, a group of data process operators (DPOs) were observed before and after a period of intensive keying activity. At the initial visit, each DPO completed a questionnaire, measurements were made of posture and relationship with the furniture, and a medical interview and examination were carried out. The 6-day period of intense keying occurred 1 week before the second visit, when the interview and examination were repeated. There was a marked increase in the frequency of occurrence of symptoms of pain and signs of tenderness and hardening in the muscles of the forearm. This effect persisted at a third visit 6 weeks later, when only 9 of the original 14 DPOs were still employed. Symptoms in the shoulder-neck region were relatively constant during this period. This episode demonstrated that increased job demand leading to increased or constant keying rates appears to result in almost universal occurrence of symptoms. Prevention of repetition injury must include attention to workflow as well as ergonomic factors.

IJHCI 1992 Volume 4 Issue 3


Editorial Note BIB iii
  Gavriel Salvendy; Michael J. Smith; Masamitsu Oshima


Work Rhythm and Physiological Rhythms in Repetitive Computer Work: Effects of Synchronization on Well-Being BIBA 233-243
  Robert A. Henning; Steven L. Sauter; Edward F. Krieg
This study tested the hypothesis that asynchrony between the work rhythm and a worker's internal physiological rhythms may be a source of stress in repetitive computer work. Experienced typists (N=20) entered lines of numeric data using a video display terminal in a simulated office environment. Each day of the 2-day experiment consisted of six 40-min work periods. The work rhythm was varied between work periods by adjusting the field length of data entry lines (3-13 characters). Breathing and cardiac responses were monitored continuously throughout work periods, and a mood survey was administered at the end of each work period. The extent of synchronization between (1) breathing response and the work rhythm, (2) cardiac response and the work rhythm, and (3) all three measures (breathing and cardiac responses, and the work rhythm) was scored for each work period using cross-spectral analysis. Synchronization scores were then evaluated as predictors of mood state and physiological response using multiple regression techniques.
   Results indicated that synchronization between the work rhythm and breathing response was predictive of reduced heart rate and increased heart rate variability (suggesting reduced stress). Synchronization between the work rhythm and cardiac response was predictive of both reduced fatigue and reduced boredom. Synchronization among all three measures (breathing and cardiac responses, and the work rhythm) was predictive of reduced boredom and reduced heart rate. These results suggest that the uncoupling of work and physiological rhythms may partly explain worker dissatisfaction and health complaints in highly regimented, computer-based tasks.
The Use of Computers in Offices: Impact on Task Characteristics and Worker Stress BIBA 245-261
  Pascale Carayon-Sainfort
The effects of computer use on task characteristics and worker stress were examined in a sample of 262 office workers from three organizations. Following Turner and Karasek (1984), it was hypothesized that computer system performance (defined as the frequency of computer problems and computer use intensity) had direct and indirect effects on worker stress. The indirect effect was hypothesized to occur through the influence of computer system performance on the task characteristics. Results showed that increased frequency of computer problems was related to increase in computer use intensity. As the frequency of computer problems and computer use intensity increased, perceived workload and perceived work pressure increased, and perceived job control decreased. Perceived workload, work pressure, and job control were related to several indicators of worker stress. Results showed that computer system performance mainly had indirect effects on several indicators of worker stress.
Working Conditions and Well-Being Among Women Office Workers BIBA 263-281
  Chaya S. Piotrkowski; Barbara G. F. Cohen; Kevin E. Coray
In 1983 the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health launched a comprehensive study of the relationship of working conditions to health and well-being among women office workers, in the context of women's dual roles as employees and family members. Extensive questionnaire, interview, and ergonomic data were collected in 1985. This report presents data from the questionnaires of 625 women office workers at four work sites -- public and private -- in the United States.
Variety in VDT Work: An Issue for Assessment in Work Environment Research BIBA 283-301
  Gunnela Westlander; Elisabeth Aberg
This article stresses the necessity of renewing methods for assessing the content of VDT work. It is introduced by a discussion of different approaches and methods, focusing particularly on the most common taxonomy, the division of VDT work into four categories: data entry, data acquisition, interactive communication, and word and text processing. This classification has been employed in the field of occupational health research in studies that mainly specialized in VDT users. The taxonomy is utilized for an organizational analysis aimed both at characterizing organizational patterns with respect to task profile and degree of specialization (in the computer-related part of the work) and at identifying work situations that involve a large amount of daily computer use of just one type. The analysis was tested empirically at eight office workplaces (N-269). Clear differences among the workplaces emerged with respect to the characteristics listed before. First, there were differences in terms of how many workers were occupied with VDT tasks at all. Second, the degree of specialization of VDT work was extreme at some workplaces, but the pattern was quite the opposite at others. It was shown that the method for assessing variety and/or uniformity was capable of monitoring the direction in which activities were developing over time. There was heavily specialized VDT work at all the workplaces, but this applied only to a few people. An overall total of 25 people found themselves in this situation, half with just data entry work, and half involved exclusively with data acquisition. Differences between these two groups with respect to self-reported sight complaints (seven symptoms) and musculoskeletal complaints (five symptoms) were tested. A comparison of mean values showed that the data entry group have a greater workload with respect to all but one of these symptoms. The results (notwithstanding that statistical significance was found in the case of only one symptom) support the results of previous epidemiological research in the field of occupational health. The conclusion can be drawn that adoption of the organizational method proposed provides useful information on the basis of which decisions on preventive measures at a local level can be based.

Book Reviews

"User Interface Design," by Harold Thimbleby BIB 303-305
  Paul A. Booth
"Computer Ethics: Cautionary Tales and Ethical Dilemmas in Computing," by Tom Forester and Perry Morrison BIB 303-305
  Mary J. LaLomia

IJHCI 1992 Volume 4 Issue 4


Errors in Working in Office Computers: A First Validation of a Taxonomy for Observed Errors in a Field Setting BIBA 311-339
  Dieter Zapf; Felix C. Brodbeck; Michael Frese; Helmut Peters; Jochen Prumper
An action-oriented taxonomy of errors in human-computer interaction in the office differentiated four classes: functionality problems, usability problems, interaction problems, and inefficient behavior. Functionality problems were differentiated in how they affect the action process. Usability problems were differentiated according to levels of action regulation and steps in the action process. For example, conscious strategies were differentiated from automatic ones. To examine the taxonomy's construct validation, several hypotheses regarding error-handling time, need for external support, complexity at work, and novices versus experts were tested in a field study of 198 clerical workers at 11 German companies and 7 small firms. A total of 1,749 errors were observed within a 2-hour period, 1,306 were rated concordantly by two re-raters. As expected, errors resulting from conscious regulation and functionality problems needed more error-handling time than errors resulting from more automatic actions. There were more thought and memory errors at workplaces with high complexity. The most external support was needed for knowledge errors. Novices committed more knowledge errors and experts more habit errors. Practical implications are discussed both for software development and training.
Moving Icons as a Human Interrupt BIBA 341-348
  Colin Ware; Joseph Bonner; William Knight; Rod Cater
This report describes an experiment designed to test the use of simple linear motion as an attention-getting device for computer displays. The experiment involved two tasks: a primary task that required the typed transcription of a document onto a computer screen, and a secondary task that involved detecting and responding to a moving icon signal. The icon consisted of a rectangular bar that grew and shrank in an oscillatory fashion, as the top edge ascended and descended. The amplitude and the velocity of motion were varied systematically and the effect on response time was measured. The results from this secondary task show that there is an inverse relation between the velocity of the moving icon and the response time. No effect was found for amplitude. The speed of the responses suggests that simple motion is an effective attention-getting device for events in the periphery of the visual field.
Focused Interaction in Dialogues BIBA 349-368
  Conn Mulvihill; Gabriel McDermott
This report addresses the dialogue support issues involved in tailoring courses to organization-specific requirements. We present a brief discussion of current dialogue support techniques and discuss their inability to facilitate focussed interfacing, a crucial element in raising the quality of service available to real-world organizations. In any real-world organization the functionality must exist to modify and refine an initial position with respect to a course. We demonstrate techniques for focusing on the task at hand and incorporating partial decision elements in the dialogue interface itself, providing an illustration of our approach.
The Effects of Hierarchical Structure and Visualization Ability on Computerized Information Retrieval BIBA 369-385
  F. Jacob Seagull; Neff Walker
This study examined the effects of visualization ability on search time in databases with different hierarchical structures. It was designed to determine whether manipulation of the hierarchical structures of information could accommodate the needs of low-visualization ability users. The task consisted of finding specific "target" files in each of the four different data structures that varied in depth of organization. The study found the expected effects of organizational structure and visualization ability on retrieval time from the database. It did not find any evidence of an interaction between the two variables on performance. The results suggest that individual differences in performance are the result of differences in perceptual speed and that altering the structure of the information in a database is not an effective way to accommodate to low-visualization ability users.
Muscular Loading and Subjective Ratings of Muscular Tension by Novices when Typing with Standard and Split-Design Computer Keyboards BIBA 387-394
  Tadeusz Marek; Czeslaw Noworol; Henryk Wos; Waldemar Karwowski; Krzysztof Hamiga
The objective of this research project was to compare two different computer keyboard designs with respect to their effect on the extent of muscular loading in the right and left trapezius and extensor muscles during typing. The two computer keyboards used in this study were (1) a classic or standard keyboard, and (2) a split-design keyboard. Evaluation of muscular loading was done using the electromyography (EMG) technique and subjective ratings of muscular tension. Sixteen women, between 18 and 26 years of age, with similar secretarial experience and limited typing abilities, took voluntary part in the experiment. Each subject used both keyboards for 15 min. The EMG signals recorded during typing sessions were those of the left and right sides of trapezius (m. trapezius pars descendeus) and extensor (m. extensor carpi radialis brevis et longus) muscles. Upon completion of each task, subjects were asked to evaluate perceived levels of muscular tension in the shoulder-neck area and forearms. The results showed that the split-design computer keyboard significantly reduces muscular loading of the trapezius muscle and subjective feelings of muscular tension in the shoulder-neck area.