University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Quantifying the Impact of Making and Breaking Interface Habits

Garaialde, D., Bowers, Christopher ORCID:, Pinder, C., Shah, P., Parashar, S., Clark, L. ORCID: and Cowan, Benjamin R. (2020) Quantifying the Impact of Making and Breaking Interface Habits. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 142. Article no. 102461. ISSN 1071-5819

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The frequency with which people interact with technology means that users may develop interface habits, i.e. fast, automatic responses to stable interface cues. Design guidelines often assume that interface habits are beneficial. However, we lack quantitative evidence of how the development of habits actually affect user performance and an understanding of how changes in the interface design may affect habit development. Our work quantifies the effect of habit formation and disruption on user performance in interaction. Through a forced choice lab study task (n=19) and in the wild deployment (n=18) of a notification dialog experiment on smartphones, we show that people become more accurate and faster at option selection as they develop an interface habit. Crucially this performance gain is entirely eliminated once the habit is disrupted. We discuss reasons for this performance shift and analyse some disadvantages of interface habits, outlining general design patterns on how to both support and disrupt them.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: interface habits, user behaviour, breaking habit, interaction, science, quantitative research
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
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SWORD Depositor: Prof. Pub Router
Depositing User: Christopher Bowers
Date Deposited: 15 May 2020 12:25
Last Modified: 12 May 2021 01:00

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