Publication: Why it's Quick to be Square: Modelling New and Existing Hierarchical Menu Designs

We consider different hierarchical menu and toolbar-like interface designs from a theoretical perspective and show how a model based on visual search time, pointing time, decision time and expertise development can assist in understanding and predicting interaction performance. Three hierarchical menus designs are modelled -- a traditional pull-down menu, a pie menu and a novel Square Menu with its items arranged in a grid -- and the predictions are validated in an empirical study. The model correctly predicts the relative performance of the designs -- both the eventual dominance of Square Menus compared to traditional and pie designs and a performance crossover as users gain experience. Our work shows the value of modelling in HCI design, provides new insights about performance with different hierarchical menu designs, and demonstrates a new high-performance menu type.

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Participants

D. Ahlstrom Andy Cockburn
University of Canterbury
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Pourang Irani

Citation

Ahlstrom, D., Cockburn, A., Gutwin, C., Irani, P. 2010. Why it's Quick to be Square: Modelling New and Existing Hierarchical Menu Designs. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), ISBN 978-1-60558-929-9. 1371-1380. DOI=10.1145/1753326.1753534.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {459-why-its-quick-to-be-square-2,
author= {D. Ahlstrom and Andy Cockburn and Carl Gutwin and Pourang Irani},
title= {Why it's Quick to be Square: Modelling New and Existing Hierarchical Menu Designs},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI)},
year= {2010},
pages= {1371-1380}
}