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(to be completed)

 


ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Intelligent Systems, volume 7, numbers 3 and 4, 2014 // View article intsys_v7_n34_2014_26


Combining Cognitive ACT-R Models with Usability Testing Reveals Users Mental Model while Shopping with a Smartphone Application

Authors:
Sabine Prezenski
Nele Russwinkel

Keywords: ACT-R; usability; smartphone; application; menu; mental load; mental model

Abstract:
The usability of two different versions of a smartphone shopping list application for Android is evaluated via user tests and cognitive modeling. The mobile application enables users to compose a shopping list by selecting items out of different stores and product categories. The two versions of the linear hierarchical application differ in menu depth. Two empirical studies compare novice and expert product search time. The first study focuses on efficiency, suitability for learning, mental load and mental models. The second study supplements the findings of the first study and investigates varying expectations between products. An ACT-R based cognitive modeling approach provides in depth explanations for the effects found in the empirical study. The study shows that for expert users, product search with a 3 layer or a 2 layer version is equally efficient, due to the same amount of mental load. Expert and novice user rely on different strategies when searching for items- novice users need to access their general knowledge frequently, experts use their mental model of pathways leading to the items. The suitability of the mental model of users, explains why version updates that introduce a new layer produce longer product search times - and those reducing the number of layers do not.

Pages: 700 to 715

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2014. Used with permission.

Publication date: December 30, 2014

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2679

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