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									Onderzoeksproject bachelor Informatiekunde, Cognitie en Communicatie

Titel:                  Users’ mental models of hypertext systems

Doel:                   Insight in the difference between users’ mental models and the
                        conceptual model of hypertext systems during the design process

Projectbeschrijving:    Being disoriented or lost is one of the fundamental difficulties which
                        users experience when trying to navigate a Website. If it has been
                        designed so that it does not correspond with users’ mental models,
                        then the users are more likely to become lost (Brandt. & Uden, 2003;
                        Otter & Johnson, 2000). Consequently, evaluating and detecting
                        users’ misunderstandings early in de design process saves a lot of
                        problems in terms of satisfying user needs, defects, cost, etc.

                        In this project we propose to explore the users’ mental models using
                        the methodology of Otter & Johnson (2000). Participants are asked
                        to draw (from memory) pathways through the system. The diagrams
                        produced are easily analysed assuming they consist of a
                        representation of nodes and links. The accuracy of the users’ mental
                        models is measured by comparing them with the conceptual model
                        of the hypertext system.

                        Furthermore, this methodology allows exploring how mental models
                        evolve while interacting with the system.

Ingangseisen:           Interest in Experimental Research, Web Design and Usability

Contactpersoon:         Mari Carmen Puerta Melguizo (puerta@cs.uu.nl)

Intern/extern:          Preferably 2 students

Startdatum:             September 2005 OR February 2006
                        Duration: 11 weeks

Literatuur:                Brandt, D.C. & Uden, L. (2003). Insight into mental models of
                            novice Internet searchers. Communications of the ACM, 46(7),
                            133-136.
                           Otter, M. & Johson, H. (2000). Lost in hyperspace: metrics and
                            mental models. Interacting with Computers, 13, 1-40.

								
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