Proceedings of HCI 2007 The 21st British HCI Group Annual Conference University of Lancaster, UK (HCI)
British HCI Group Annual Conference
3 - 7 September 2007
Previous studies on usability of crowded graphical interfaces that are full of widgets like menus, buttons, palette-tools etc, have shown evidence that they create a fertile environment for information overload and usability problems. In this paper, we investigate the use of multimodal interaction metaphors (visual, vocal and aural) for improving effectiveness of learning functions and completing tasks in one of the most graphically crowded user-interfaces, the user-interface of IDEs (or Interface Design Environments). This investigation was done empirically on two experimental interface design toolkits (TVOID and MMID) which were built especially for the study. Assessment of the visual and multimodal interaction metaphors was carried out by two independent groups of users (A and B) of which each consisted of 15 users. Results showed that the use of speech for input and output along with limited use of the mouse was more effective than interacting visually only using the typical common graphical metaphors: pull-down menus, toolbar, toolbox, properties-table and status-bar.