Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Interfaces to Databases, Napier University, Edinburgh (IDS-3)
Interfaces to Databases
8-10 July 1996
The importance of designing query systems which are effective and easy to use has been widely recognized in the database area. Also, it is well known that the adequacy of a system should be tested against actual users in a well monitored experiment. However, very few such experiments have been conducted. The objective of our study is to measure and understand the comparative ease with which subjects can construct queries in two kinds of visual languages, one diagrammatic and the other iconic. More specifically, we are interested in determining if there is significant interaction between: 1) the query class and the query language type; and 2) the type of query language and the experience of the user.
Experimental results indicate that the effectiveness of a diagrammatic or an iconic query language varies depending on the classes of queries and the kinds of users. This supports the opinion that an interface offering to the user various visual representations and query modalities is the most appropriate for a wide set of users and applications.