Measuring User Performance for Different Interfaces Using a Word Processor Prototype

  • Tanya R. Beelders
  • Pieter J. Blignaut
  • Theo McDonald
  • Engela H. Dednam
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5610)


Usability tests were conducted in order to establish the effect on user performance of different icon sets in a word processor. Both a set of alternative pictorial icons and text buttons were developed for a subset of word processor functions for comparison with the standard icons. In order to accommodate users in their home language the interface was available in English, Afrikaans and Sotho to determine whether usability of a product is increased when the users are allowed to interact with the product in their mother tongue rather than having to use the commonly available English interface. The scores obtained for completed tests as well as the time taken to complete tasks successfully were evaluated. Results indicate that neither icons nor language play a significant part in the usability of a product. In fact, the only significant contributor to user performance was the word processor expertise of the user.


Usability word processor icons text buttons localization 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tanya R. Beelders
    • 1
  • Pieter J. Blignaut
    • 1
  • Theo McDonald
    • 1
  • Engela H. Dednam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and InformaticsUniversity of the Free StateSouth Africa

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