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Harder to access, better performance? the effects of information access cost on strategy and performance

Morgan, Phillip L. ORCID:, Waldron, Samuel M., King, Sophia L. and Patrick, John 2007. Harder to access, better performance? the effects of information access cost on strategy and performance. Presented at: International Conference on Human Interface and the Management of Information, Beijing, 22-27 July 2007. Human Interface and the Management of Information. Methods, Techniques and Tools in Information Design. , vol.4557 Springer, pp. 115-125. 10.1007/978-3-540-73345-4_15

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Whilst much effort is being invested into the design of human-computer interfaces that provide users with access to large amounts of information, there is less understanding of how human performance can be optimized in such interaction-driven contexts. We suggest one way to improve performance is to tailor the structure of the interface to the adaptive nature of cognition and orient behavior towards certain strategies, and away from others. Here, we show how small changes in Information Access Cost (IAC) - the time, physical and mental cost of accessing information - can effect powerful changes in cognitive processing strategies that subsequently affect performance. Increasing IAC on task-critical information was generally shown to encourage a more ‘memory-intensive’ processing strategy. This strategy not only improved future memory for task-relevant information, but also improved learning during problem solving, and planning. Implications for display designers in HCI are discussed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9783540733447
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 09:28

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