ARAN - Access to Research at NUI Galway

The Design and Evaluation of Graphical Radial Menus

ARAN - Access to Research at NUI Galway

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dc.contributor.advisor Decker, Stefan
dc.contributor.author Samp, Krystian
dc.date.accessioned 2012-04-11T15:37:46Z
dc.date.available 2012-04-11T15:37:46Z
dc.date.issued 2011-12-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10379/2672
dc.description.abstract Graphical menus provide slow performance and yet users often try to select menu commands as fast as possible. Shortcut techniques that enable users to by-pass selections from a graphical menu are fast, but are not the ultimate answer to the performance problem. Shortcut techniques pose high demands on human memory. They require much training and frequent use. They do not scale well. And they often cannot be provided on devices with limited capabilities, such as mobile devices with small screens, small keyboards, or touch screens. Because of these problems, users often times 'stick' to a graphical menu and are condemned to its poor performance. This thesis argues that the performance of graphical menus can be improved. The thesis consists of three parts: The first part presents the background knowledge and the problem of slow graphical menus. The second part presents the design of a menu that supports the needs of novices, experts, and those transitioning from novice to expert. In particular, the design explicitly aims at improving selection performance by leveraging concentric radial layout. The third part of the thesis presents the evaluation of the design and its main characteristics. Four studies are conducted based on two controlled, user experiments. A number of variables are analysed including pointing time, visual search time, navigation performance, novice/expert performance, navigation errors, and screen consumption. A number of factors are controlled including menu size, location of menu items, menu design, and layout variation. Traditional linear menus are included for comparison. Objective and subjective measures are used. Additionally, a performance model based on pointing laws is proposed and used to measure the motor processing rates of tested designs. The evaluation shows that designing with performance in mind can result in faster graphical menus compared to traditional menus. The proposed Compact Radial Layout menu is approximately 20-30% faster in a variety of conditions, reduces navigation errors, induces users to faster movements and decreases screen consumption. The evaluation also shows that, with a consistent pattern of organizing items in radial menus, search and navigation performance can be further improved. At the same time, the results indicate that the improved navigation performance in radial menus comes at the cost of slower visual search. en_US
dc.subject Graphical User Interfaces en_US
dc.subject graphical menus en_US
dc.subject menus en_US
dc.subject radial menus en_US
dc.subject radial layout en_US
dc.subject Human-Computer Interaction en_US
dc.subject evaluation en_US
dc.subject usability studies en_US
dc.subject DERI en_US
dc.title The Design and Evaluation of Graphical Radial Menus en_US
dc.type PhD Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.funder SFI en_US
dc.local.note The thesis focuses on improving performance of graphical menus - an interface element present in most computer applications employing Graphical User Interface. The thesis presents design and evaluation of the Compact Radial Layout menu. The menu is found to be faster and less error prone than the currently most common menus. en_US
dc.local.final Yes en_US

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