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Towards Reducing Cognitive Load and Enhancing Usability through a Reduced Graphical User Interface for a Dynamic Geometry System: An Experimental Study

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10 Author(s)
Reis, H.M. ; Univ. of Sao Paulo SP, Sao Paulo, Brazil ; Borges, S.S. ; Durelli, V.H.S. ; de S Moro, L.F.
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The interface is the main mechanism of communication between user and system features. In educational software, successful user interface designs minimize the cognitive load on users, thereby users can direct their efforts to maximize their understanding of the educational concepts being presented. We investigated whether a reduced interface make few cognitive demands on users in comparison to a complete interface. In this context, this research aims at analyzing a reduced and a complete interface of an interactive geometry software, and verify the educational benefits they provide. To this end, we designed the interfaces and carried out an experiment involving 69 undergraduate students. The experimental results indicate that an interface that hides advanced and extraneous features helps novice users to perform slightly better than novice users using a complete interface. After receiving proper training, however, a complete interface makes users more productive than a reduced interface.

Published in:

Multimedia (ISM), 2012 IEEE International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

10-12 Dec. 2012