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Environmental factors and features that influence visual search in a 3D WIMP interface

Kyritsis, M., Gulliver, S. R. ORCID: and Feredoes, E. (2016) Environmental factors and features that influence visual search in a 3D WIMP interface. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 92-93. pp. 30-43. ISSN 1071-5819

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2016.04.009


The challenge of moving past the classic Window Icons Menus Pointer (WIMP) interface, i.e. by turning it ‘3D’, has resulted in much research and development. To evaluate the impact of 3D on the ‘finding a target picture in a folder’ task, we built a 3D WIMP interface that allowed the systematic manipulation of visual depth, visual aides, semantic category distribution of targets versus non-targets; and the detailed measurement of lower-level stimuli features. Across two separate experiments, one large sample web-based experiment, to understand associations, and one controlled lab environment, using eye tracking to understand user focus, we investigated how visual depth, use of visual aides, use of semantic categories, and lower-level stimuli features (i.e. contrast, colour and luminance) impact how successfully participants are able to search for, and detect, the target image. Moreover in the lab-based experiment, we captured pupillometry measurements to allow consideration of the influence of increasing cognitive load as a result of either an increasing number of items on the screen, or due to the inclusion of visual depth. Our findings showed that increasing the visible layers of depth, and inclusion of converging lines, did not impact target detection times, errors, or failure rates. Low-level features, including colour, luminance, and number of edges, did correlate with differences in target detection times, errors, and failure rates. Our results also revealed that semantic sorting algorithms significantly decreased target detection times. Increased semantic contrasts between a target and its neighbours correlated with an increase in detection errors. Finally, pupillometric data did not provide evidence of any correlation between the number of visible layers of depth and pupil size, however, using structural equation modelling, we demonstrated that cognitive load does influence detection failure rates when there is luminance contrasts between the target and its surrounding neighbours. Results suggest that WIMP interaction designers should consider stimulus-driven factors, which were shown to influence the efficiency with which a target icon can be found in a 3D WIMP interface.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:65510

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