Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

It’s all in your head - The effect of metaphor on web navigation

19.06.2008
In the internet world of sites, pages, lounges and whatever else is out there, most of us have found ourselves 'lost in hyperspace', a frustrating experience of having lost track of where we are, where we're going, or where to find what we're looking for.

However, hope is at hand, through a recent study by a PhD Student at the University of Leicester, Kine Dorum,

Based on the notion that people create images or maps in their heads to represent the world around them, designers and developers often attempt to help people find their way by working on the principle that virtual environments should be made to look and feel as similar to the real world as possible. One example is the computer desktop with its files, folders, and 'trash can'.

Kine Dorum’s work suggests that how things look may not necessarily be an all-important factor when designing information spaces.

Comparing three identical-looking websites based on different real-world scenarios, the study shows that people tend to rely on prior knowledge of a space when moving around, rather than how realistic the spatial layout is.

Kine explained: “In other words, we don't need an image of a door presented on the screen in order to see a door in our mind, and a button on a website does not necessarily need to look like a real button.

“The effect of familiarity is so strong that it can have a greater impact than other factors that have previously been found to affect people's ability to use computer environments, such as individual thinking styles and a person's ability to orient themselves in space.”

So, while tapping into people's knowledge about the real world, these findings could indicate that there should be fewer constraints on the visual design of computer environments than are currently applied.

Through her work as a graphic and web designer Kine came to the field of cognitive psychology with experience of and interest in people’s differing ability to use computer based material. In her PhD project she is making use of psychological theory to test and gain insight into what happens at the interface between people and computers. The goal is to identify a set of key characteristics of both the user and the computer environment, which can be used to predict behaviour and performance, and inform design decisions.

The research is being presented to the public at the University of Leicester on Thursday 26th June. The Festival of Postgraduate Research introduces employers and the public to the next generation of innovators and cutting-edge researchers, and gives postgraduate researchers the opportunity to explain the real world implications of their research to a wide ranging audience.

More information about the Festival of Postgraduate Research is available at: www.le.ac.uk/gradschool/festival

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk/gradschool/festival

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>