Document (#36100)

Author
Zhang, Y.
Title
Dimensions and elements of people's mental models of an information-rich Web space
Source
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. 61(2010) no.11, S.2206-2218
Year
2010
Abstract
Although considered proxies for people to interact with a system, mental models have produced limited practical implications for system design. This might be due to the lack of exploration of the elements of mental models resulting from the methodological challenge of measuring mental models. This study employed a new method, concept listing, to elicit people's mental models of an information-rich space, MedlinePlus, after they interacted with the system for 5 minutes. Thirty-eight undergraduate students participated in the study. The results showed that, in this short period of time, participants perceived MedlinePlus from many different aspects in relation to four components: the system as a whole, its content, information organization, and interface. Meanwhile, participants expressed evaluations of or emotions about the four components. In terms of the procedural knowledge, an integral part of people's mental models, only one participant identified a strategy more aligned to the capabilities of MedlinePlus to solve a hypothetical task; the rest planned to use general search and browse strategies. The composition of participants' mental models of MedlinePlus was consistent with that of their models of information-rich Web spaces in general.
Theme
Benutzerstudien
Object
Medline

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