Document Type

Theses, Masters

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

Computer Sciences

Publication Details

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Dublin Institute of Technology for the degree of M.Sc. in Computing (Advanced Software Development)

Abstract

Mental Workload, a psychological concept, was identified as being linked with task’s and system’s performance. In the context of Human-Computer Interaction, recent research has identified Mental Workload as an important measure in the designing and evaluation of web interfaces, and as an additional and supplemental insight to typical usability evaluation methods. Simultaneously, web logs containing data related to web users’ interaction (e.g. scrolling; mouse clicks) have been proved useful in evaluating the usability of web sites by analysing the data tracked for hundreds of users. In order to study if the potential of logs of user interaction can be applied in the study of Mental Workload in Web design, an online experiment with 145 participants was performed. Additionally, the experiment, composed of alternative interfaces, sought to assess the role of Mental Workload in the evaluation of interfaces using interactive Infographics, which were identified by literature as bringing new challenges and concerns in the field of Web Design. The online experiment’s results suggested that correlations between mental demands and users’ interaction can only be observed when taking in consideration the web interface used or the profile of the users. Moreover, the used measurement methods for assessing Mental Workload were not capable of predicting task performance, as previous research suggested (in the context of other types of web interfaces).

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