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Visual grouping in menu interfaces

Brumby, DP; Zhuang, S; (2015) Visual grouping in menu interfaces. In: Begole, B and Kim, J and Inkpen, K and Woo, W, (eds.) CHI '15: Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. (pp. pp. 4203-4206). Association for Computing Machinery (ACM): New York, NY, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

Menu interfaces often arrange options into semantic groups. This semantic structure is then usually conveyed to the user by supplementary visual grouping cues. We investigate whether these visual grouping cues actually help users locate items in menus faster, and whether there is potential for these powerful grouping cues to impede search when used inappropriately. Thirty-six participants performed known-item searches of word menus. These menus differed along three dimensions: (1) whether visual grouping cues were used, (2) whether items were semantically organized, and (3) the number of items belonging to each semantic group. Results show that the usefulness of visual grouping entirely depends on the underlying semantic structure of the menu. When menus were semantically organized, having visual grouping cues delineate the boundaries between large semantic groups resulted in the fastest search times. But when semantically unrelated items were visually grouped together, participants took far longer to locate targets. Menu designers should therefore take great care to avoid visually grouping semantically unrelated items as this has the potential to hinder menu interactions.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Visual grouping in menu interfaces
Event: 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '15)
ISBN-13: 9781450331456
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1145/2702123.2702177
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702177
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions. Copyright © 2015 ACM.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > UCL Interaction Centre
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1499240
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