Article

Satisficing and the Use of Keyboard Shortcuts: Being Good Enough Is Enough?

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Abstract

Keyboard shortcuts are generally accepted as the most efficient method for issuing commands, but previous research has suggested that many people do not use them. In this study we investigate the use of keyboard shortcuts further and explore reasons why they are underutilized by users. In Experiment 1, we establish two baseline findings: (1) people infrequently use keyboard shortcuts and (2) lack of knowledge of keyboard shortcuts cannot fully account for the low frequency of use. In Experiments 2 and 3, we furthermore establish that (3) even when put under time pressure users often fail to select those methods they themselves believe to be fastest and (4) the frequency of use of keyboard shortcuts can be increased by a tool that assists users learning keyboard shortcuts. We discuss how the theoretical notion of ‘satisficing’, adopted from economic and cognitive theory, can explain our results.

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... They enable parallel interaction by combining keyboard and mouse input, and allow users to focus on primary tasks by reducing visual distraction. However, research shows that except for very frequent commands like "copy" and "paste", users fail to transition from using graphical interfaces to using shortcuts [1,18,27,39,48]. ...
... The failure to adopt hotkeys may be ascribed to factors like poor visibility [14,15,39], cumbersome hand movement [22,32], lack of user motivation [9,26,38], and the large cost to learn more efficient interaction strategies [21,23]. Yet, one primary issue, as identified by many [15,18,22,27,39] and reiterated by a recent survey by Zheng et al. [48], is the requirement for memorizing an often arbitrary mapping from command labels to hotkeys. ...
... The failure to adopt hotkeys may be ascribed to factors like poor visibility [14,15,39], cumbersome hand movement [22,32], lack of user motivation [9,26,38], and the large cost to learn more efficient interaction strategies [21,23]. Yet, one primary issue, as identified by many [15,18,22,27,39] and reiterated by a recent survey by Zheng et al. [48], is the requirement for memorizing an often arbitrary mapping from command labels to hotkeys. ...
Conference Paper
Expert interaction techniques like hotkeys are efficient, but poorly adopted because they are hard to learn. HotStrokes removes the need for learning arbitrary mappings of commands to hotkeys. A user enters a HotStroke by holding a modifier key, then gesture typing a command name on a laptop trackpad as if on an imaginary virtual keyboard. The gestures are recognized using an adaptation of the SHARK2 algorithm with a new spatial model and a refined method for dynamic suggestions. A controlled experiment shows HotStrokes effectively augments the existing "menu and hotkey" command activation paradigm. Results show the method is efficient by reducing command activation time by 43% compared to linear menus. The method is also easy to learn with a high adoption rate, replacing 91% of linear menu usage. Finally, combining linear menus, hotkeys, and HotStrokes leads to 24% faster command activation overall.
... The simplest way to interact with radiology workstation software is to use graphical user interface (GUI) elements such as buttons and drop-down menus, which require a mouse to be used as an input device. This mode of interaction with software is considered inefficient and is best suited for inexperienced users (22)(23)(24)(25). ...
... Even though there may be more efficient techniques available, users may be unwilling to learn new methods of computer use once a level of comfort is reached. This is a well-known phenomenon in human-computer interface research (22,23,33). There may be multiple factors involved. ...
... (34) In our experience, even the native PACS shortcuts are underused despite evidence that they are superior to GUI elements. This is consistent with a pattern of underuse of keyboard shortcuts among computer users (22,23,35). ...
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Using alternative input devices and AutoHotkey scripts is an inexpensive and efficient method to personalize the workstation and reduce time spent performing repetitive tasks. Radiologists rely heavily on the digital radiology workstation. They spend most of their time interacting with software applications that use multiple input devices, including mice, keyboards, and microphones. The efficiency of this relationship depends on the interface of the different software applications, their interoperability, and input device effectiveness. Because of the repetition of a radiologic workflow, even small inefficiencies can accumulate into significant losses of time and productivity and contribute to user fatigue. Alternative input devices (AIDs) with onboard memory can be used as ergonomic human-computer interfaces. These devices can also be coupled with AutoHotkey scripts to complete complex tasks in one keystroke. Radiologists can use modern AIDs and simple scripts to minimize frustration, improve and personalize their routines, and streamline interactions with the workstation. The authors discuss hardware and software features that do not require support from information technology professionals and can be implemented with any software that relies on user input.
... Given the advantages of shortcuts, it may be surprising that most users do not fully adopt them [28,34,47,74]. To some extent, this can be ascribed to their poor visibility [28,74], unintuitive command-to-key mappings [28,34,41,61], sometimes cumbersome hand movements when using modifier keys [41,52,74], and lack of user motivation to learn efficient strategies [7,8,12,54,74]. ...
... Given the advantages of shortcuts, it may be surprising that most users do not fully adopt them [28,34,47,74]. To some extent, this can be ascribed to their poor visibility [28,74], unintuitive command-to-key mappings [28,34,41,61], sometimes cumbersome hand movements when using modifier keys [41,52,74], and lack of user motivation to learn efficient strategies [7,8,12,54,74]. More critically, the act of using shortcut keys is radically different than graphical input. ...
... Given the advantages of shortcuts, it may be surprising that most users do not fully adopt them [28,34,47,74]. To some extent, this can be ascribed to their poor visibility [28,74], unintuitive command-to-key mappings [28,34,41,61], sometimes cumbersome hand movements when using modifier keys [41,52,74], and lack of user motivation to learn efficient strategies [7,8,12,54,74]. More critically, the act of using shortcut keys is radically different than graphical input. ...
Conference Paper
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Keyboard shortcuts can be more efficient than graphical input , but they are underused by most users. To alleviate this, we present "Guided Finger-Aware Shortcuts" to reduce the gulf between graphical input and shortcut activation. The interaction technique works by recognising when a special hand posture is used to press a key, then allowing secondary finger movements to select among related shortcuts if desired. Novice users can learn the mappings through dynamic visual guidance revealed by holding a key down, but experts can trigger shortcuts directly without pausing. Two variations are described: FingerArc uses the angle of the thumb, and Finger-Chord uses a second key press. The techniques are motivated by an interview study identifying factors hindering the learning , use, and exploration of keyboard shortcuts. A controlled comparison with conventional keyboard shortcuts shows the techniques encourage overall shortcut usage, make interaction faster, less error-prone, and provide advantages over simply adding visual guidance to standard shortcuts.
... Several studies show that many people do not use these expert interaction techniques despite their benets [60,81,92]. ...
... HotKeyCoach [58]) or reduce the temporal cost of the Learning strategy (e.g. ExposeHK [71], KeyCue [92]). The equations 8, 9 and 10 inform that these strategies (i.e. ...
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Despite the benefits of expert interaction techniques, many users do not learn them and continue to use novice ones. This article aims at better understanding if, when and how users decide to learn and ultimately adopt expert interaction techniques. This dynamic learning process is a complex skill-acquisition and decision-making problem. We first present and compare three generic benchmark models, inspired by the neuroscience literature, to explain and predict the learning process for shortcut adoption. Results show that they do not account for the complexity of users’ behavior. We then introduce a dedicated model, Transition, combining five cognitive mechanisms: implicit and explicit learning, decay, planning and perseveration. Results show that our model outperforms the three benchmark models both in terms of model fitting and model simulation. Finally, a post-analysis shows that each of the five mechanisms contribute to goodness-of-fit, but the role of perseveration is unclear regarding model simulation.
... Second, the user's perception of a new method is important because the probability of using the new method depends on the user's perception of its future efficiency. Several studies have shown that what users predict about a new method is different from what the user actually experiences; for example, Tak et al. (2013) found that users did not prefer to use hotkeys because they considered using the toolbar to be much faster. Thus, even if users understand the importance of adopting efficient methods of application use, they continue to use labour-intensive methods because they are trapped in the active-user paradox (Carroll and Rossen, 1987). ...
... For example, Cockburn and McKenzie [2002] showed that users predicted that they would perform poorly in a spatial task, but subsequently rated their actual performance much higher. Similarly, studies have consistently shown that keyboard shortcuts offer a higher performance ceiling than mouse selection [Odell et al. 2004;Lane et al. 2005;], yet Tak et al. [2013] found that some participants did not use known hotkeys because they believed toolbar selections were faster. ...
Article
Interface design guidelines encourage designers to provide high-performance mechanisms for expert users. However, research shows thatmany expert interface components are seldom used and that there is a tendency for users to persistently fail to adopt faster methods for completing their work. This article summarizes and organizes research relevant to supporting users in making successful transitions to expert levels of performance. First, we provide a brief introduction to the underlying human factors of skill acquisition relevant to interaction with computer systems. We then present our focus, which is a review of the state of the art in user interfaces that promote expertise development. The review of interface research is based around four domains of performance improvement: intramodal improvement that occurs as a factor of repetition and practice with a single method of interaction; intermodal improvement that occurs when users switch from one method to another that has a higher performance ceiling; vocabulary extension, in which the user broadens his or her knowledge of the range of functions available; and task mapping, which examines the ways in which users perform their tasks. The review emphasizes the relationship between interface techniques and the human factors that explain their relative success.
... Another area where routine precluded the acquisition of new and more e cient knowledge was with the transition from the menus to keyboard shortcuts. The issue of users not making the final transition from the menu to keyboard shortcuts has been well reported [Lane et al., 2005, Scarr et al., 2011, Tak et al., 2013, Malacria et al., 2013, and the results of this study were no di↵erent. ...
Technical Report
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Menu searching is a common form of discovery used to compensate for a lack of application knowledge. This method of discovery often results in workflow interruptions due to the frequent locating and relocating of operators on the menu. Once the location of an operator is learned, its execution becomes habit and applied to situations where more powerful solutions exist. Aids such as reference cards, application help, and Inter-net searches exist that make the user aware of these more ecient operators, however these resources are seldom used. This study presents an inline trainer that leverages the workflow of the individual to facilitate the discovery of new application knowledge. At issue is fitting the amount of work necessary to use the trainer into the already occurring interruption window. By understanding the amount of within-interruption work tolerated by the user, including an inline trainer within the window promotes a deeper understanding of the application resulting in a more ecient workflow.
... Les raccourcis clavier sont des alternatives efficacesà la sélection de commandesà l'aide d'un pointeur [22], en particulier pour les actions répétitives (e.g., copier/coller aŕ epétition) [22,23,34]. Plusieurs travaux ont facilité l'utilisation des raccourcis clavier [3,12,20,29,30,43]. Par exemple, Grossman et al. augmentent l'exposition des raccourcis clavier soit en augmentant la saillance des raccourcis clavier, soit en augmentant le coût de la sélectionà la souris [12]. ...
... Regarding the latter, researchers have motivated people with increased shortcut visibility. Grossman et al. [9] provide audio feedback and disable graphical menu items to encourage keyboard shortcut use, Krisler and Alterman [14] display shortcut information and require a shortcut key press before continuing, Malacria et al. [18] and Tak et al. [29] show shortcut information when a modifier key is pressed, and Malacria et al. [19] display an efficiency score to encourage usage. ...
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We evaluate and demonstrate finger, hand, and posture identification as keyboard shortcuts. By detecting the hand and finger used to press a key, and open or closed hand postures, a key press can have multiple command mappings. A formative study reveals performance and preference patterns when using different fingers and postures to press a key. The results are used to develop a computer vision algorithm to identify fingers and hands on a keyboard captured by a built-in lap top camera and reflector. This algorithm is built into a background service to enable system-wide finger-aware shortcut keys in any application. A controlled experiment uses the service to compare the performance of Finger-Aware Shortcuts with existing methods. The results show Finger-Aware Shortcuts are comparable with a common class of shortcuts using multiple modifier keys. Finally, application demonstrations illustrate different use cases and mappings for Finger-Aware Shortcuts and extend the idea to two-handed key presses, continuous parameter control, and menu selection.
... While this is immediately usable by most information security professionals, those used to the command line may find it too point and click intensive. Keyboard shortcuts may sometimes make users more efficient, they can be too hard to recall [14,15]. With a conversational interface we are able to reduce the memory requirements of keyboard shortcuts by allowing multiple paths to success, while ideally reducing the search and click latency of mouse driven interfaces. ...
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Security products often create more problems than they solve, drowning users in alerts without providing the context required to remediate threats. This challenge is compounded by a lack of experienced personnel and security tools with complex interfaces. These interfaces require users to become domain experts or rely on repetitive, time consuming tasks to turn this data deluge into actionable intelligence. In this paper we present Artemis, a conversational interface to endpoint detection and response (EDR) event data. Artemis leverages dialog to drive the automation of complex tasks and reduce the need to learn a structured query language. Designed to empower inexperienced and junior security workers to better understand their security environment, Artemis provides an intuitive platform to ask questions of alert data as users are guided through triage and hunt workflows. In this paper, we will discuss our user-centric design methodology, feedback from user interviews, and the design requirements generated upon completion of our study. We will also present core functionality, findings from scenario-based testing, and future research for the Artemis platform.
... Second, the user's perception of a new method is important because the probability of using the new method depends on the user's perception of its future efficiency. Several studies have shown that what users predict about a new method is different from what the user actually experiences; for example, Tak et al. (2013) found that users did not prefer to use hotkeys because they considered using the toolbar to be much faster. Thus, even if users understand the importance of adopting efficient methods of application use, they continue to use labour-intensive methods because they are trapped in the active-user paradox ( Carroll and Rossen, 1987). ...
Thesis
I certify that the information on this cover sheet is correct. I certify that the content of this dissertation is my own work, and that my work contains no examples of misconduct such as plagiarism, collusion, or fabrication of results. Candidate's signature ………………………………………………………………. 2 An empirical study to develop mental models for the functionality of an application: tow training types using styles inheritance in Microsoft word.
... A widely used technique to expand the keyboard input space is "chording" (i.e., pressing several keys simultaneously), such as hotkeys. Although found to be more efficient than using a mouse [21], hotkeys are underutilized by most people [27,21] due to the difficulty of learning and [15] executing [24] them. Another approach to enrich the expressiveness of a keyboard is to introduce new input modalities. ...
Conference Paper
Conventionally, keys on a physical keyboard have only two states: "released'' and "pressed''. As such, various techniques, such as hotkeys, are designed to enhance the keyboard expressiveness. Realizing that user inevitably perform touch actions during keystrokes, we propose GestAKey, leveraging location and motion of the touch on individual keycaps to augment the functionalities of existing keystrokes. With a log study, we collected touch data for both normal usage (typing and hotkeys) and while performing touch gestures (location and motion), which are analyzed to assess the viability of augmenting keystrokes with simultaneous gestures. A controlled experiment was conducted to compare GestAKey with existing keyboard interaction techniques, in terms of efficiency and learnability. The results show that GestAKey has comparable performance with hotkey. We further discuss the insights of integrating such touch modality into existing keyboard interaction, and demonstrate several usage scenarios.
... It may not necessarily facilitate the learning of gestures per se, but may help users become familiar with the menu layout. It is possible some users find the tapping mode good enough and never make the transition to gesturing ("satisficing" [44,42]). At this point, we view tapping also as a design choice. ...
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Despite their learning advantages in theory, marking menus have faced adoption challenges in practice, even on today's touchscreen-based mobile devices. We address these challenges by designing, implementing, and evaluating multiple versions of M3 Gesture Menu (M3), a reimagination of marking menus targeted at mobile interfaces. M3 is defined on a grid rather than in a radial space, relies on gestural shapes rather than directional marks, and has constant and stationary space use. Our first controlled experiment on expert performance showed M3 was faster and less error-prone by a factor of two than traditional marking menus. A second experiment on learning demonstrated for the first time that users could successfully transition to recall-based execution of a dozen commands after three ten-minute practice sessions with both M3 and Multi-Stroke Marking Menu. Together, M3, with its demonstrated resolution, learning, and space use benefits, contributes to the design and understanding of menu selection in the mobile-first era of end-user computing.
... De nombreux utilisateurs continuent d'utiliser les menus [14], alors que les raccourcis claviers (ou gestuels) sont plus efficaces. Il résulte que de nombreuses techniques d'interaction ont été proposées pour faciliter la transition des menus vers les raccourcis claviers [22,26,30,36,37,44,46], gestuels [4,6,9,31,49] ou adaptatifs [12]. Pour autant, on connaît encore mal les caractéristiques de cette transition. ...
Conference Paper
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This paper aims at better understanding the transition from menus to shortcuts. We first discuss the limitations and the opportunities of the theoretical and empirical characterizations of this transition. We then consider keyboard shortcuts as a case study and manually annotate empirical data to estimate several behavioral markers such as the initial switch, the transition duration or the performance dip. These markers serve to precisely characterize and compare three interaction techniques. Finally, we compare two methods to automatically characterize the transition from menus to shortcuts.
... Their results show that users tend to have varying levels of knowledge and actual usage of these techniques between completely ignoring them and perfectly mastering the art of how and when to use them, and that despite being "hidden", these gesture-based techniques can get high levels of user awareness and willingness to use. Regarding keyboard shortcuts on desktop, studies conducted in Microsoft Word [13,29] revealed that users do not systematically use the hotkeys they know, which may be explained by the fact they often underestimate their potential benefits, but not only, because they also often fail to use them when they know it will be faster, even under time pressure. ...
Conference Paper
Revealing a hidden widget with a dedicated sliding gesture is a common interaction design in today's handheld devices. Such "Swhidgets" (for swipe-revealed hidden widgets) provide a fast (and sometime unique) access to some commands. Interestingly, swhidgets do not follow conventional design guidelines in that they have no explicit signifiers, and users have to discover their existence before being able to use them. In this paper, we discuss the benefits of this signifierless design and investigate how iOS users deal with this type of widgets. We report on the results of a laboratory study and an online survey, investigating iOS users' experience with swhidgets. Our results suggest that swhidgets~are moderately but unevenly known by participants, yet the awareness and the discovery issues of this design is worthy of further discussion.
... Typically, Optimus keyboards [43] are physical keyboards whose each key is a display that can dynamically change, typically to reveal the commands associated when a modifier key is pressed, hence making interaction with hotkeys rely on recognition rather than recall. Similar software solutions have also been designed so that users can expose the hotkeys on the monitor while pressing a modifier key [15,31,44] and demonstrated the efficiency of hotkeys even when users are not aware of the key combination beforehand. ...
Preprint
Touch-based devices, despite their mainstream availability, do not support a unified and efficient command selection mechanism, available on every platform and application. We advocate that hotkeys, conventionally used as a shortcut mechanism on desktop computers, could be generalized as a command selection mechanism for touch-based devices, even for keyboard-less applications. In this paper, we investigate the performance and usage of soft keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys (abbreviated SoftCuts) through two studies comparing different input methods across sitting, standing and walking conditions. Our results suggest that SoftCuts not only are appreciated by participants but also support rapid command selection with different devices and hand configurations. We also did not find evidence that walking deters their performance when using the Once input method.
Thesis
At the heart of this thesis is a common but problematic situation that users of digital systems often face in their daily interactions: to interact with the system, they need some knowledge of an interaction possibility, some piece of information about the interface, but this information is not provided in the context in which they need it. I call such interaction possibilities non-signified, and signifier-less designs the interfaces and interaction techniques that rely on non-signified interaction possibilities.An example of modern signifier-less design is what I call "swhidgets" for "SWIpe-revealed HIDden WIDGETS": widgets that are hidden under the screen bezels or other interface elements, out of view and not advertised by any graphical mark, but that can be revealed by dragging them into view with a swipe gesture relying on a physical manipulation metaphor. Swhidgets are an important component of touch-based smartphone and tablets interfaces, and will be the principal signifier-less design studied in this thesis.When facing a signifier-less design, users may be confused about what they should do and how to achieve their goals; or they might have to use suboptimal ways of achieving their goals because they are unaware of the existence of more efficient options. It is thus usually advised to avoid signifier-less designs. Yet, despite designers’ awareness of the problems they may cause, signifier-less designs are common in user interfaces. They thus deserve a deeper analysis than simply advising to avoid them in interface design. Indeed, there might be good reasons to apply this design: maybe they provide some benefits that are hard to see with our current understanding of these designs, or maybe there is no way to avoid them.In this thesis, I study the question of why designers would create interfaces that do not clearly expose some of their interaction possibilities, taking the case of swhidgets as an example and focus of inquiry. As a preliminary work on swhidgets, I focus on the following questions: What are signifier-less designs and what aspects of swhidgets design make them unique? Do users know the swhidgets provided by their system? How did they get to know them despite their lack of signifiers? What are the benefits of not having signifiers in the design of swhidgets?My contributions to these questions are:- I define signifier-less designs and provide observations of this type of design in user interfaces.- I provide an analysis of the fundamental notions required to define signifier-less designs: affordances, signifiers and semiotics.- I propose a model of user discovery and adoption of interaction techniques in general, relying on three dimensions and their relationships: users’ current knowledge and skills, users’ motivations, and the design means of informing users provided by the interfaces.- I propose the notions of Degree of Knowledge and Source of Knowledge derived from this model, that can be used in experiments to evaluate how well the participants know an interaction technique and how they discovered it.- I present the design and results of two studies on iOS swhidgets that investigate how well users known them, how they discover them, their reasons for not using them, how they generally feel about them, and how they integrate them in the way they think about their interactions with the system. These studies revealed that swhidgets were globally appreciated and relatively well known by users, although there is still room for improvement, notably for some specific swhidgets.I conclude with perspective for future works regarding the transfer of knowledge about swhidgets from one application to another, the pertinence of considering all aspects of user experience to understand the design of swhidgets, and the possibility to increase the discoverability of swhidgets by using animated transitions between interface views.
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Chapter
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Despite experience, many users do not make efficient use of complex computer applications. We argue that this is caused by a lack of strategic knowledge that is difficult to acquire just by knowing how to use commands. To address this problem, we present efficient and general strategies for using computer applications, and identify the components of strategic knowledge required to use them. We propose a framework for teaching strategic knowledge, and show how we implemented it in a course for freshman students. In a controlled study, we compared our approach to the traditional approach of just teaching commands. The results show that efficient and general strategies can in fact be taught to students of diverse backgrounds in a limited time without harming command knowledge. The experiment also pinpointed those strategies that can be automatically learned just from learning commands, and those that require more practice than we provided. These results are important to universities and companies that wish to foster more efficient use of complex computer applications.
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Graphical interfaces allow users to issue commands using pull-down menus, icon toolbars, and keyboard shortcuts. Menus and icon toolbars are easier to learn, whereas keyboard shortcuts are more efficient. It would seem natural for users to migrate from the use of easy-to-learn menu and icon methods to the more efficient method of key- board shortcuts as they gain experience. To investigate the extent to which this transi- tion takes place, 251 experienced users of Microsoft Word were given a questionnaire assessing their choice of methods for the most frequently occurring commands. Con- trary to our expectations, most experienced users rarely used the efficient keyboard shortcuts, favoring the use of icon toolbars instead. A second study was done to verify that keyboard shortcuts are, indeed, the most efficient method. Six participants per- formed common commands using menu selection, icon toolbars, and keyboard short- cuts. The keyboard shortcuts were, as expected, the most efficient. We conclude that even experienced users are inefficient in their use of graphical interfaces. One possible way to improve user efficiency is for training programs to provide a roadmap for users to make the transition from using pull-down menus and clicking icon toolbars to issu- ing keyboard shortcuts.
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Several studies show that despite experience, many users with basic command knowledge do not progress to an efficient use of complex computer applications. These studies suggest that knowledge of tasks and knowledge of tools are insufficient to lead users to become efficient. To address this problem, we argue that users also need to learn strategies in the intermediate layers of knowledge lying between tasks and tools. These strategies are (a) efficient because they exploit specific powers of computers, (b) difficult to acquire because they are suggested by neither tasks nor tools, and (c) general in nature having wide applicability. The above characteristics are first demonstrated in the context of aggregation strategies that exploit the iterative power of computers.Acognitive analysis of a real-world task reveals that even though such aggregation strategies can have large effects on task time, errors, and on the quality of the final product, they are not often used by even experienced users. We identify other strategies beyond aggregation that can be efficient and useful across computer applications and show how they were used to develop a new approach to training with promising results.We conclude by suggesting that a systematic analysis of strategies in the intermediate layers of knowledge can lead not only to more effective ways to design training but also to more principled approaches to design systems. These advances should lead users to make more efficient use of complex computer systems.
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Introduction, 99. — I. Some general features of rational choice, 100.— II. The essential simplifications, 103. — III. Existence and uniqueness of solutions, 111. — IV. Further comments on dynamics, 113. — V. Conclusion, 114. — Appendix, 115.
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Provides an overview of the history of heuristics and visions of rationality and discusses a new revolution under the premise that much of human reasoning and decision making can be modeled by fast and frugal heuristics that make inferences with limited time and knowledge. The authors discuss a research program that is designed to elucidate 3 distinct but interconnected aspects of rationality: bounded rationality, ecological rationality, and social rationality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Simon proposed that human rationality is bounded by both internal (mental) and external (environmental) constraints. Traditionally, these constraints have been seen as independent, leading to a notion of bounded rationality that is either the attempt to do as well as possible given the demands of the world – the notion of optimization under constraints – or as the suboptimal outcome of the limited cognitive system – the realm of cognitive illusions. But there is a third possibility, following Simon’s original conception: rather than being unrelated, the two sets of bounds may fit together like the blades in a pair of scissors. The mind can take advantage of this fit to make good decisions, by using mental mechanisms whose internal structure exploits the external information structures available in the environment. In this paper we lay out a research program for studying simple decision heuristics of this sort that expands on Simon’s own search for mechanisms of bounded rationality. We then illustrate how these heuristics can make accurate decisions in appropriate environments, and present detailed examples of two heuristics inspired by Simon’s ideas on recognition-based processing and satisficing in sequential search.
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This paper introduces a new input technique, bimanual marking menus, and compares its performance with five other techniques: static toolbars, hotkeys, grouped hotkeys, marking menus, and toolglasses. The study builds on previous work by setting the comparison in a commonly encountered task, shape drawing. In this context, grouped hotkeys and bimanual marking menus were found to be the fastest. Subjectively, the most preferred input method was bimanual marking menus. Toolglass performance was unexpectedly slow, which hints at the importance of low-level toolglass implementation choices.
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The Office Keyboard (on store shelves in major markets since October, 2001) seeks to enhance efficiency through unique application of bimanual interaction principles. The left hand performs navigation tasks (including view scrolling, application switching, and internet forward & back) as well as editing commands (Cut, Copy, and Paste) that are typically part of a compound mouse-keyboard action. The Office Keyboard's Cut, Copy, Paste, and Application toggle dedicated left-side keys are evaluated. Results in three different experimental task contexts show that the Office Keyboard is significantly faster than, or statistically equivalent to, the mouse or keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V and Alt+Tab) for all outcome measures that we collected. Most participants preferred the dedicated left-side keys to the other methods tested.
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Usability engineering aims at improving interactive systems and their user interfaces, Defined slightly more precisely, usability is a general concept that cannot be measured but is related to several usability parameters that can be measured. The metastudy presented later in this article did find that preference and performance were positively associated in most cases. Even so, most computer professionals probably know of cases where users did not prefer the system that would seem to be better based on the objective performance measures.
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In the Adaptive Character of Thought (ACT-R) theory, complex cognition arises from an interaction of procedural and declarative knowledge. Procedural knowledge is represented in units called production rules, and declarative knowledge is represented in units called chunks. The individual units are created by simple encodings of objects in the environment (chunks) or simple encodings of transformations in the environment (production rules). A great many such knowledge units underlie human cognition. From this large database, the appropriate units are selected for a particular context by activation processes that are tuned to the statistical structure of the environment. According to the ACT-R theory, the power of human cognition depends on the amount of knowledge encoded and the effective Employment of the encoded knowledge.
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In this paper I have attempted to identify some of the structural characteristics that are typical of the "psychological' environments of organisms. We have seen that an organism in an environment with these characteristics requires only very simple perceptual and choice mechanisms to satisfy its several needs and to assure a high probability of its survival over extended periods of time. In particular, no "utility function' needs to be postulated for the organism, nor does it require any elaborate procedure for calculating marginal rates of substitution among different wants.
from menus and icon toolbars to keyboard shortcuts
  • Susanne Tak
Susanne Tak et al. from menus and icon toolbars to keyboard shortcuts. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Interact., 18, 133-144.
The Routines of Decision Making
  • B Verplanken
  • V Myrbakk
  • E Rudi
Verplanken, B., Myrbakk, V. and Rudi, E. (2003) The Measurement of Habit. In Betsch, T. and Haberstroh, S. (eds), The Routines of Decision Making, pp. 231-247. Lawrence Erlbaum.