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A user learning of core command sequences in a menu system.
Wilson, M.D., Barnard, P.J. & MacLean, A.
IBM Hursley Human Factors Laboratory Report No. HF114, September, 117 pages.
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Although there is considerable literature concerning both naive and expert users of computer systems, there is little data concerning the transition from one stage to another. This paper reports such data for a “standardised” set of “core” tasks carried out by eight users whilst they were learning an integrated office system (VisiOn*). Although task completion times and accuracy generally improved across learning, the characteristics of the data raised significant issues and cautions concerning the development of practical, interpretable and applicable “usability benchmarks”. However, more detailed analyses of user errors provided clues concerning the nature of user mental representations of system knowledge. A model describing the nature and development of user knowledge is outlined, exemplified and discussed. This model assumes that user knowledge involves a repertoire of knowledge fragments which evolves in response to the task and problem-solving demands of specific dialogue transactions. *VisiOn is a registered trademark of VisiCorp.