• The Effect of display size on reading and manipulating electronic text

      Richardson, John; Dillon, Andrew; McKnight, Cliff; Megaw, E.D. (London: Taylor and Francis, 1989)
      This item is not the definitive copy. Please use the following citation when referencing this material: Richardson, J., Dillon, A., and McKnight, C. (1989) The effect of window size on reading and manipulating electronic text. In E. Megaw (ed.) Contemporary Ergonomics 1989. London:Taylor and Francis, 474-479. Abstract: With the advent of hypertext the presentation of electronic text is becoming an increasingly important issue. However, most research to date has focused on simplistic measures of reading speed or navigation in highly controlled presentation formats, often using very constrained texts and task scenarios. The present paper attempts a more meaningful analysis of the effect of window size on reader comprehension and manipulation of real-world texts. Reading a journal article for comprehension and a software manual for specific information are both investigated. Results indicate that screen size is not a major factor in performance on either task but readers express a strong preference for larger screens.
    • The role of usability labs in system design

      Dillon, Andrew; Megaw, E.D. (Taylor & Francis, 1988)
      This item is not the definitive copy. Please use the following citation when referencing this material: Dillon, A. (1988) The role of usability labs in systems design. In: E. Megaw (ed.) Contemporary Ergonomics 88. London: Taylor and Francis, 69-73. Abstract: The issue of usability is a central concern for contemporary system designers and a major focus of research in the domain of HCI. In an attempt to evaluate the usability of products some companies have invested heavily in the the development of so-called "usability labs". Consisting of sophisticated video recording equipment and observation facilities, these laboratories may well be expected to provide insight into the process of interaction that would otherwise remain hidden. Is this in fact the case? Are usability labs the universal panacea for the problems of evaluation? The present paper outlines the advantages and details the limitations of such facilities and argues that the problems lie less with the laboratory and more with the evaluator.