How Do You Understand Twitter?: Analyzing Mental Models, Understanding and Learning about Complex Interactive Systems

  • Víctor M. González
  • Rodrigo Juárez
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8278)


The aim of this investigation is to identify and understand the relations between the people’s mental models and their performance and usability perception about a complex interactive system (Twitter). Our study includes the participation of thirty college students where each of them was asked to perform a number of activities with Twitter, and to draw graphical representations of the mental model about it. The participants have either none or at least a year of expertise using Twitter. We identified three typical types of mental models used by participants to describe Twitter and found that the level of expertise had a major impact on performance rather than the mental model style defining the understanding about the system. Furthermore, and in contrast, we found that usability perception was affected by the level of expertise.


mental models HCI Twitter complex interactive systems 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Víctor M. González
    • 1
  • Rodrigo Juárez
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceInstituto Tecnológico Autónomo de MéxicoMexico CityMexico

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