Information Visualization - Assisting Low Spatial Individuals With Information Access Tasks Through The Use Of Visual Mediators
Abbreviated Journal Title
INFORMATION VISUALIZATION; HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERFACE DESIGN; GRAPHICAL; USER INTERFACES; SPATIAL ABILITY; INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES; HIERARCHICAL FILE SYSTEM; Engineering, Industrial; Ergonomics; Psychology, Applied; Psychology
This study investigated the use of visual mediators to facilitate information access by low spatial individuals. Based on theories of adaptive learning and field-dependence, two human-computer interfaces were developed which were intended to compensate for the inability of low spatial individuals to readily construct visual mental models of a menu system's structure. The two compensatory interfaces included: a 2D visual hierarchy and a linear structure. The information search performance of high and low spatial individuals was compared on the two compensatory interfaces and a third challenge match interface, which challenged individuals to construct a mental model of a hierarchical menu system in order to perform efficiently. The visual mediators were successful in accommodating low spatial individuals, as indicated by the lack of any significant performance differences being detected between the high and low spatial groups on the two compensatory interfaces. High spatial individuals outperformed low spatial individuals only when information search tasks required the use of spatial ability in mentally constructing a model of the organization and structure of embedded task information. The key factor in the accommodation process was the elimination of the need to mentally visualize the structure of embedded task information. These results indicate that visualization techniques can be successfully used to enhance the information search performance of low spatial individuals.
"Information Visualization - Assisting Low Spatial Individuals With Information Access Tasks Through The Use Of Visual Mediators" (1995). Faculty Bibliography 1990s. 1473.