Brain measurement for usability testing and adaptive interfaces: An example of uncovering syntactic workload with functional near infrared spectroscopy

Leanne M. Hirshfield, Erin Treacy Solovey, Audrey Girouard, James Kebinger, Robert J.K. Jacob, Angelo Sassaroli, Sergio Fantini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

A well designed user interface (UI) should be transparent, allowing users to focus their mental workload on the task at hand. We hypothesize that the overall mental workload required to perform a task using a computer system is composed of a portion attributable to the difficulty of the underlying task plus a portion attributable to the complexity of operating the user interface. In this regard, we follow Shneiderman's theory of syntactic and semantic components of a UI. We present an experiment protocol that can be used to measure the workload experienced by users in their various cognitive resources while working with a computer. We then describe an experiment where we used the protocol to quantify the syntactic workload of two User interfaces. We use functional near infrared spectroscopy, a new brain imaging technology that is beginning to be used in HCI. We also discuss extensions of our techniques to adaptive interfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2009
Subtitle of host publicationDigital Life New World - Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Pages2185-2194
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event27th International Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2009 - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Apr 4 2009Apr 9 2009

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Other

Other27th International Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2009
CountryUnited States
CityBoston, MA
Period4/4/094/9/09

Keywords

  • Brain
  • Evaluation
  • Syntactic
  • Workload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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