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Title: Evaluating feature checklists as a measurement instrument in human-computer interaction
Author: Edgerton, Edward Andrew
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1994
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This thesis is concerned with the development and assessment of a measurement tool for use in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI); the instrument is known as the Feature Checklist (FC). The FC consists of a list of features of the user interface such as menu commands, against which are a few columns each asking a particular question. A series of seven studies were conducted in which the development of FCs progressed in a logical manner. Study 1 demonstrated that FCs were a more accurate and valid instrument compared with simple open-response questionnaires for asking users about their recent usage of menu commands, and had an accuracy of 87%. Studies 2 and 3 attempted to increase the accuracy of FCs by improving their visual layout. Study 4 demonstrated that FCs could provide additional information (i.e. other than frequency of usage) and that this additional information was also accurate. Study 5 replicated the findings of study 4 in an HCI setting and also provided evidence to suggest that command names are a more suitable way of listing features on the F.C. than semantic descriptions of commands' functions. Study 6 demonstrated the way in which FCs could be applied to HCI evaluation and assessed the cost to the user of completing a FC. Finally study 7 employed FCs in a "real-life", industrial setting. Throughout the thesis an attempt is made to relate the findings of each study to important research on human memory, in order to understand more fully the processes involved in FCs; the relevance of different theories of human memory are discussed. The results suggested that FCs provide accurate and valuable information about such things as: usage levels of interface features; user knowledge of the existence and function of interface features; and user estimates of the usefulness of interface features. As such, it is proposed that FCs are a useful addition to the area of HCI evaluation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available