CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

1997

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Michael A. Moody

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

S. Rollins Guild

Abstract

This study was designed to assess the differences in the learning performance (speed and accuracy) with which field dependent and field independent subjects could complete a set of checkbook management tasks using software employing a user interface making strong use of common checkbook management metaphors versus software employing an interface adhering to a defacto industry standard-based graphical user interface design guideline. It was hypothesized that both field dependent and field independent users would complete tasks more quickly and accurately using both user interface types.

From a population of traditional and non-traditional college students, 64 individuals volunteered to participate in the study. The Group Embedded Figures Test was used to determine field dependence -independence level and four groups of 16 formed for exposure to the 2 interface types in an experimental design. Analysis of variance procedures were used to determine the significance of learning differences between the groups.

The results showed significant correlations between experience level and task performance. There were no significant interaction effects between field dependence - independence and exposure to the two interface types on performance. The findings of this study may have implications for designers of application software user interfaces and for those involved in application software training.

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