The influence of conceptual user models on the creation and interpretation of diagrams representing reactive systems


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Tabachneck-Schijf, H.J.M. and Verpoorten, J.H. and Weg, R.L.W. van de and Wieringa, R.J. (2006) The influence of conceptual user models on the creation and interpretation of diagrams representing reactive systems. In: Current Research in Information Sciences and Technologies. Multidisciplinary approaches to global information systems, Badajoz, Spain (pp. pp. 452-456).

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Abstract:In system design, many diagrams of many different types are used. Diagrams communicate design aspects between members of the development team, and between these experts and the non-expert customers and future users. Mastering the creation of diagrams is often a challenging task, judging by particular errors persistently found in diagrams created by undergraduate computer science students. We assume a possible misalignment between human perception and cognition on the one hand and the diagrams’ structure and syntax on the other. This article presents the results of an investigation of such a misalignment. We focus on the deployment of so-called 'conceptual user models' (mental models, created by users in their mind) at the creation of diagrams. We propose a taxonomy for mental mappings, used for categorization of representations. We describe an experiment where naive and novice subjects created one or several diagrams of a familiar task. We use our taxonomy for analysing these diagrams, both for the represented task structure and the symbols used. The results indeed show a mismatch between mental models and currently used diagram techniques.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
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Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS)
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Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/publications/66537
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