Individual Differences and Task-Based User Interface Evaluation: A Case Study of Pending Tasks in Email

Gwizdka, Jacek and Chignell, Mark H. Individual Differences and Task-Based User Interface Evaluation: A Case Study of Pending Tasks in Email. Interacting with Computers, 2004, vol. 16, n. 4, pp. 769-797. [Journal article (Paginated)]


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English abstract

This paper addresses issues raised by the ever-expanding role of email as a multi-faceted application that combines communication, collaboration, and task management. Individual differences analysis was used to contrast two email user interfaces in terms of their demands on users. The results of this analysis were then interpreted in terms of their implications for designing more inclusive interfaces that meet the needs of users with widely ranging abilities.The specific target of this research is the development of a new type of email message representation that makes pending tasks more visible. We describe a study that compared a new way of representing tasks in an email inbox, with a more standard representation (the Microsoft Outlook inbox). The study consisted of an experiment that examined how people with different levels of three specific cognitive capabilities (flexibility of closure, visual memory, and working memory) perform when using these representations. We then identified combinations of representation and task that are disadvantageous for people with low levels of the measured capabilities.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: email interfaces, task management, individual differences, external representations, user interface design
Subjects: L. Information technology and library technology > LA. Telecommunications.
C. Users, literacy and reading. > CB. User studies.
B. Information use and sociology of information > BI. User interfaces, usability.
Depositing user: Jacek Gwizdka
Date deposited: 14 Nov 2009
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:15


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