Screen Miniatures as Icons for Backward Navigation in Content-Based Software

Boling, Elizabeth
Ma, Guoping
Tao, Chiawen
Aşkun, Cengiz Savaş
Green, Tim
Frick, Theodore
Schaumburg, Heike
The users of content-based software programs, including hypertexts and instructional multimedia, rely on the navigation functions provided by the designers of those programs. Typical navigation schemes use abstract symbols (arrows) to label basic navigational functions like moving forward or backward through screen displays. In a previous study conducted by Boling, King, Avers, Hsu, Lee & Frick (1996) the use of concrete representations (screen miniatures) to indicate backward navigation functions was found to reduce the number of errors users made in backward navigation significantly. The current study tested this claim using a more diverse sample of subjects and an electronic instrument instead of the original paper instrument. A hypercard™ stack was developed in two versions, one with screen miniatures and one with arrows to represent certain backward navigation functions, and used to test subjects’ ability to choose the correct button for a particular backward navigation event. Subjects using the screen miniatures made significantly fewer errors than did subjects using arrows.
Citation Formats
E. Boling et al., “Screen Miniatures as Icons for Backward Navigation in Content-Based Software,” Houston, TX U.S.A, 1999, p. 429, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: