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Evaluating intuitive interactions using image schemas

Asikhia, Obokhai Kess 2015. Evaluating intuitive interactions using image schemas. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Intuitive use is a desirable feature in interface design. In the last decade, researchers have made considerable progress in developing approaches for design for intuitive use. Most of the current approaches, however, have been limited to qualitative exploration, in the form of providing guidelines aimed to help designers to design products that are intuitively useable. This thesis focusses on developing a quantitative approach for evaluating intuitive interaction with the help of image schemas. An image schema is a recurring structure within the human cognitive system that establishes patterns of reasoning with the physical world. Researchers have found this concept to be very useful in capturing human interaction with products; it is also suitable for analysing product features. The approach developed in this thesis measures intuitive interaction based on the degree of match (known in this study as quantification, ‘Q’) between the designer’s intent and the users’ interaction both expressed through image schemas. The value of the proposed approach is in the provision of measurable outputs for evaluating intuitive interaction. The proposed approach is evaluated through an empirical study designed to test the validity of ‘Q’ as a measure of intuitive use expressed through task completion time, errors and cognitive effort. The results reveal that participants with high ‘Q’ value were significantly quicker, made fewer errors, and expended less cognitive effort while completing all subtasks with the three products used in the study. Secondly, the thesis addresses the limitation of other studies in the applicability of the methods used for extracting image schemas. Previous approaches have predominantly relied on the expertise of the researcher conducting the study in extracting the identified image schemas from the utterances of the users. This could introduce subjective bias, thereby reducing the reliability of the method for extracting image schemas. This study addressed this limitation by developing a systematic approach based on a novel algorithm for extracting image schemas from users’ utterances. This enhanced image schema extraction method is based on the use of two ontologies: a lexical ontology and a domainspecific ontology (image schema ontology). The domain-specific ontology was purpose-built for the needs of this study. The independent evaluation study conducted to evaluate the algorithm revealed a substantial strength with an overall k of 0.67 across the 3 products used in the study. Previous studies have predominantly focussed on the cognitive aspect of intuitive use. A limited amount of work has explored the affective aspect of intuition, and integrated it into the evaluation of intuitive use. This study addressed this limitation by developing a novel approach for assessing the affective aspect of the intuitive use of products. This novel approach incorporates the enhanced algorithm for extracting image schemas that was developed for this study. In addition, a sentiment analysis on the affective words linked to the image schemas employed in the task is used as part of the evaluation process. The proposed approach is evaluated through an empirical study based on the sentiments used in describing the image schemas employed for the interaction. The results show that the approach links the image schemas used for the completion of a task to the affective experiences of the users. This has potential to lead to significant improvements in design for intuitive use because it allows experiences to be linked directly to the specific image schemas employed in the design. Overall, the study contributes significantly to the knowledge in this field by validating a new quantitative approach for evaluating intuitive interactions with physical objects. The approaches developed in this study will enable designers to evaluate intuitive usage at different phases of the design process.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TS Manufactures
Uncontrolled Keywords: Intrustic interaction; Affective evaluation; Image schemes; qualitative evaluation.
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 April 2016
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2016 06:22

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