A Comparison of comprehensibility between controlled Turkish and graphical representations

Canpolat Şahin, Müge
There are studies which show that visual representations, given in appropriate formats consistent with the context, are more informative and easy to understand as compared to textual representations (e.g., Simon & Larkin, 1980; Schnotz & Bannert, 2003; Carney & Levin, 2002). However, the factors affecting the comprehensibility of visual and textual representations should be taken into account before coming up with this conclusion. The quality of a text is closely related to the linguistic abilities of its writer. This subjective factor makes it difficult to compare textual representations with graphical ones, which may yield unreliable results. To be more precise, depending on the linguistic abilities of the writer, a plain text may contain various redundant or ambiguous words or sentences which may confuse readers and lower the comprehensibility of the text. Although graphical representations generally code only core information, depending on the quality of the used notation they may also be ambiguous for its interpreters. In order to make a comparison of comprehensibility between texts and graphical representations in a right manner, it must be ensured that the text to be compared does not contain ambiguous elements or unnecessarily complex sentence structures. Similarly, the graphical representation should also be eliminated from ambiguous structures. This study aims to provide a comparison of comprehensibility between a text representing a task hierarchy and its graphical representation. To ensure the quality of the textual representation, the text was generated in Controlled Turkish. Similarly the quality of the graphical representation was ensured by conducting a preliminary experiment. The results of this study have shown that although texts are given in Controlled Turkish, graphical representations are still better for ease of comprehension.


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Citation Formats
M. Canpolat Şahin, “A Comparison of comprehensibility between controlled Turkish and graphical representations,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2013.