Where Is My Stuff? Augmenting Finding and Re-finding Information by Spatial Locations and Icon Luminance

  • J. Michelle Moon
  • Wai-Tat Fu
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5638)


We studied how spatial locations and luminance affect finding and re-finding information in a desktop environment. In an experiment conducted with computer icons, fixed locations led to more frequent accesses to icons while change of luminance led to worse recall of icon titles and locations. In an analysis of icon access transition, a sequential search pattern was identified in earlier sessions, which suggests that participants were minimizing efforts in external search and were not utilizing internal memory of titles and locations yet. In later sessions, icon accesses were more focused to information directly relevant to search tasks as participants started using titles and locations for re-finding icons. Results are consistent with the notion that information search behavior is adaptive to the cost-benefit structure of the interface, and search strategies are adaptive to different external representations of icons. Results also suggest that both external representations and human information processes are critical in determining the effectiveness of different GUI designs.


Adaptive human behavior re-finding information spatial memory interface design 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Michelle Moon
    • 1
  • Wai-Tat Fu
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Factors Division and Beckman InstituteUniversity of IllinoisSavoyUSA

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