With practice, keyboard shortcuts become faster than menu selection: a crossover interaction

Remington, Roger W., Yuen, Ho Wang Holman and Pashler, Harold (2016) With practice, keyboard shortcuts become faster than menu selection: a crossover interaction. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 22 1: 95-106. doi:10.1037/xap0000069

Author Remington, Roger W.
Yuen, Ho Wang Holman
Pashler, Harold
Title With practice, keyboard shortcuts become faster than menu selection: a crossover interaction
Journal name Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1939-2192
Publication date 2016-03-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1037/xap0000069
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 22
Issue 1
Start page 95
End page 106
Total pages 12
Place of publication Washington, DC United States
Publisher American Psychological Association
Language eng
Abstract It is widely believed that a graphical user interface (GUI) is superior to a command line interface (CLI) for novice users, but less efficient than the CLI after practice. However, there appears to be no detailed study of the crossover interaction that this implies. The rate of learning may shed light on the reluctance of experienced users to adopt keyboard shortcuts, even though, when mastered, shortcut use would reduce task completion times. We report 2 experiments examining changes in the efficiency of and preference for keyboard input versus GUI with practice. Experiment 1 had separate groups of subjects make speeded choice responses to words on a 20-item list either by clicking on a tab in a dropdown menu (GUI version) or by entering a preassigned keystroke combination (CLI version). The predicted crossover was observed after approximately 200 responses. Experiment 2 showed that following training all but 1 subject in the CLI-trained group chose to continue using shortcuts. These results suggest that frequency of shortcut use is a function of ease of retrieval, which develops over the course of multiple repetitions of the command. We discuss possible methods for promoting shortcut learning and the practical implications of our results.
Keyword Human–computer interface
Graphical user interface
Command line interface
Practice effects
Learning curves
Keyboard shortcuts
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Created: Sun, 03 Apr 2016, 22:20:11 EST by Mrs Alison Pike on behalf of School of Psychology