Hypertext-based kiosk systems: Seven challenges and an empirical study
Hypertext, perhaps more than any other interface philosophy to date, lends itself to very diverse applications. Hypertext is particularly appropriate for systems intended for public access and widely-accessible computing. One of the challenges facing designers of hypertext-based kiosk systems is to identify effective, non-keyboard based searching strategies. In the CHI'89 InfoBooth, the original searching mechanism encouraged a mixture of hierarchical and linear searching, but it was found, in practice, to be quite awkward.
In our study, subjects used modified versions of the Infobooth to answer questions in one of three search modes: hierarchical, linear or mixed. In terms of speed and minimizing the number of cards visited, the hierarchical approach was far superior. We believe that the hierarchical mode was superior because the tool mimicked the structure of the information. We conclude that as a general rule, designers should provide a tool which matches the search pattern. In the case of multiple patterns, we recommend providing multiple, non-ambiguous tools.
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