Use of Landmarks to Improve Spatial Learning and Revisitation in Computer Interfaces
Uddin, Md. Sami
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Efficient spatial location learning and remembering are just as important for two-dimensional Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) as they are for real environments where locations are revisited multiple times. Rapid spatial memory development in GUIs, however, can be difficult because these interfaces often lack adequate landmarks that have been predominantly used by people to learn and recall real-life locations. In the absence of sufficient landmarks in GUIs, artificially created visual objects (i.e., artificial landmarks) could be used as landmarks to support spatial memory development of spatial locations. In order to understand how spatial memory development occurs in GUIs and explore ways to assist users’ efficient location learning and recalling in GUIs, I carried out five studies exploring the use of landmarks in GUIs – one study that investigated interfaces of four standard desktop applications: Microsoft Word, Facebook, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Reader, and other four that tested artificial landmarks augmented two prototype desktop GUIs against non-landmarked versions: command selection interfaces and linear document viewers; in addition, I tested landmarks’ use in variants of these interfaces that varied in the number of command sets (small, medium, and large) and types of linear documents (textual and video). Results indicate that GUIs’ existing features and design elements can be reliable landmarks in GUIs that provide spatial benefits similar to real environments. I also show that artificial landmarks can significantly improve spatial memory development of GUIs, allowing support for rapid spatial location learning and remembering in GUIs. Overall, this dissertation reveals that landmarks can be a valuable addition to graphical systems to improve the memorability and usability of GUIs.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeMcQuillan, Ian; Mandryk, Regan; Phillips, Cody; Diab, Ehab
Copyright DateApril 2022
Graphical User Interfaces