Number of co-authors:15
Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:Roger W. Schvaneveldt:3Matt Anderson:2Kenneth R. Paap:2
James E. McDonald's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:John Karat:47Tom Dayton:15Roger W. Schvaneve..:9
A general principle for all user interface design is to go through all of your design elements and remove them one at a time. If the design works as well without a certain design element, kill it.
-- Jakob Nielsen, Designing Web Usability, p. 22.
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James E. McDonald
Publications by James E. McDonald (bibliography)
Branaghan, Russell J., McDonald, James E. and Schvaneveldt, Roger W. (1991): Identifying High-Level UNIX Tasks. In ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 23 (4) pp. 73-74.
McDonald, James E., Molander, Mark E. and Noel, Ronald W. (1988): Color-Coding Categories in Menus. In: Soloway, Elliot, Frye, Douglas and Sheppard, Sylvia B. (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 88 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference June 15-19, 1988, Washington, DC, USA. pp. 101-106.
Categorical menu layouts are currently designed according to conventions and opinions, rather than by employing format techniques. In this paper we describe a formal methodology for categorically organizing menus. We go on to show how color-coding can be applied to these layouts either to emphasize organization or to provide additional information. The results of a controlled study comparing layouts based on frequency of co-occurrence and similarity show that the formal menu-layout methodology is effective. However, the use of color-coding to identify categories is not supported. Potential reasons for this failure are discussed.
© All rights reserved McDonald et al. and/or ACM Press
McDonald, James E., Vandenberg, Paul D. J. and Smartt, Melissa J. (1988): The Mirage Rapid Interface Prototyping System. In: Green, Mark (ed.) Proceedings of the 1st annual ACM SIGGRAPH symposium on User Interface Software October 17 - 19, 1988, Alberta, Canada. pp. 77-84.
McDonald, James E., Dayton, Tom and McDonald, David D. (1988): Adapting Menu Layout to Tasks. In International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 28 (4) pp. 417-435.
Menus are an increasingly popular style of user-system interface. Although many aspects of menu design can affect user performance (e.g. item names and selection methods), the organization of items in menus is a particularly salient aspect of their design. Unfortunately, empirical studies of menu layout have yet to resolve the basic question of how menus should be organized to produce optimal performance. Furthermore, a disturbingly common finding has been that any initial effects of menu layout disappear with practice. Thus it is tempting to conclude that menu organization is not important or that it only affects performance during learning. In this paper we present some reasons to doubt this conclusion. In particular, we have found persistent effects of layout with multiple-item selection tasks, in contrast with studies employing a single-item selection paradigm. The results of a controlled study comparing various menu designs (fast-food keyboards) show that the types of tasks to be performed by users must be considered in organizing items in menus and that there may be sustained effects of menu organization with some tasks. In addition, the results of this study support the use of a formal methodology based on user knowledge for menu design. By comparing the performance of subjects using menus designed using our methodology with the performance of subjects using "personalized" menus, we were able to demonstrate the general superiority of our method for designing menus, and for tailoring menus to meet task requirements as well.
© All rights reserved McDonald et al. and/or Academic Press
Cooke, Nancy M. and McDonald, James E. (1987): The Application of Psychological Scaling Techniques to Knowledge Elicitation for Knowledge-Based Systems. In International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 26 (4) pp. 533-550.
A formal knowledge-elicitation methodology that incorporates psychological scaling techniques to produce empirically derived knowledge representations is discussed. The methodology has been successfully applied in several domains and overcomes many of the difficulties of traditional knowledge-elicitation techniques. Research issues pertaining to the use of scaling techniques as knowledge-elicitation tools are outlined and in a particular issue, the elicitation of levels of abstraction in knowledge representations, is discussed in detail. Results from a study on the elicitation of knowledge about levels of abstraction for a set of Unix commands from experienced Unix users indicated that the representations obtained using this methodology can be used to obtain more abstract (i.e. categorical) representations of that knowledge.
© All rights reserved Cooke and McDonald and/or Academic Press
Paap, Kenneth R., Noel, Ronald W., McDonald, James E. and Roske-Shelton, Renate J. (1987): Optimal Organizations Guided by Cognitive Networks and Verified by Eyemovement Analyses. In: Bullinger, Hans-Jorg and Shackel, Brian (eds.) INTERACT 87 - 2nd IFIP International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction September 1-4, 1987, Stuttgart, Germany. pp. 617-622.
Lee and MacGregor (1985) presented an analysis of search time that suggests that the optimal number of options per menu panel, over a wide range of conditions, is in the range of only four to eight. We have extended their analysis to cases when the options on each menu panel can be organized into meaningful categories (Paap&Roske-Hofstrand, 1986). Under the assumption that users can restrict their search to the relevant category, the extended model predicts optimal sizes that are much larger: 16 to 78 options per panel. Organizing items into categories will produce faster search times than alphabetical orderings (McDonald, Stone,&Liebelt, 1983). However, the magnitude of the benefit is likely to depend upon the degree to which organization of the database corresponds to the user's conceptual organization. For the past several years we have been developing a formal method for knowledge elicitation and representation that derives cognitive networks from rating and/or sorting judgments and applies these cognitive organizations to the design of human-computer interfaces. In this paper we show how the cognitive networks, in conjunction with a Category Quality metric, can be used to organize the options for a menu-driven interface. The method is validated through an eye movement analysis that permits overall search time to be decomposed into several processing components.
© All rights reserved Paap et al. and/or North-Holland
Anderson, Matthew P., McDonald, James E. and Schvaneveldt, Roger W. (1987): Empirical User Modeling: Command Usage Analyses for Deriving Models of Users. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 31st Annual Meeting 1987. pp. 41-45.
Models of users' procedural knowledge were derived from the records of command usage obtained from nine experienced users of the Unix operating system. Pairwise transitions between user command entries were analyzed for the purpose of identifying salient command patterns associated with task-based user behaviors. Structural models of command usage patterns were obtained from Pathfinder network scaling of Unix command events. The network representation of command patterns was evaluated as a method for abstracting users' procedural knowledge. These network scaling solutions revealed patterns that were common both within and across users' command usage.
© All rights reserved Anderson et al. and/or Human Factors Society
McDonald, James E., Dearholt, Donald W., Paap, Kenneth R. and Schvaneveldt, Roger W. (1986): A Formal Interface Design Methodology Based on User Knowledge. In: Mantei, Marilyn and Orbeton, Peter (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 86 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 13-17, 1986, Boston, Massachusetts. pp. 285-290.
In this paper we propose a formal interface design methodology based on user knowledge. The general methodology consists of 1) obtaining distance estimates for pairs of system units (objects, actions, concepts), 2) transforming the distance estimates using scaling techniques (e.g., Pathfinder network analysis), and 3) organizing the system interface based on the scaling solution. Thus, the organization of the system is based on the cognitive models of users rather than the intuitions of designers. As an example, we discuss the application of our methodology to the design of a network-based indexing aid for the UNIX on-line documentation system (MAN).
© All rights reserved McDonald et al. and/or ACM Press
Karat, John, McDonald, James E. and Anderson, Matt (1986): A Comparison of Menu Selection Techniques: Touch Panel, Mouse and Keyboard. In International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 25 (1) pp. 73-88.
Two studies were conducted to test user performance and attitudes for three types of selection devices used in computer systems. The techniques examined included on-screen direct pointing (touch panel), off-screen pointer manipulation (mouse), and typed identification (keyboard). Both experiments tested subjects on target selection practice tasks, and in typical computer applications using menu selection and keyboard typing. The first experiment examined the performance and preferences of 24 subjects. The second experiment used 48 subjects divided into two typing skill groups and into male-female categories. The studies showed performance advantages for on-screen touch panel entry. Preference ratings for the touch panel and keyboard devices depended on the type of task being performed, while the mouse was always the least preferred device. Differences between this result and those reporting an advantage of mouse selection are discussed.
© All rights reserved Karat et al. and/or Academic Press
Karat, John, McDonald, James E. and Anderson, Matt (1984): A Comparison of Selection Techniques: Touch Panel, Mouse and Keyboard. In: Shackel, Brian (ed.) INTERACT 84 - 1st IFIP International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction September 4-7, 1984, London, UK. pp. 189-193.
A study was conducted testing user performance and attitudes for three types of selection devices. The subjects were tested on target selection practice tasks, and in typical computer applications using menu selection and keyboard typing. The study showed an advantage for on-screen touch panel over keyboard selection, and for keyboard selection over mouse entry. Differences between this result and those reporting an advantage of mouse selection are discussed.
© All rights reserved Karat et al. and/or North-Holland
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