Experimental comparison between automatic and manual menu interface design methods

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1 Scopus citations


An experimental comparison between two methods of designing a menu-tree interface for an information system is described. The 'automatic' method is based on the ADISSA methodology (architectural design of information systems based on structured analysis) according to which the interface is derived automatically from dataflow diagrams (DFD) as a by-product of the system analysis stage. In the 'manual' ('conventional') method the designer constructs an appropriate interface by applying common principles of interface design. The objective of the experiment is to find out which design method yields a better initial interface, before it is given to users for further improvements. The user's viewpoint is adopted i.e., the interface was evaluated subjectively. The hypothesis is that menutrees designed automatically are as good as those designed by people. The experiment included six information system development projects. One menu-tree interface was designed automatically for each system. Four others were designed manually by different designers who were assigned randomly to the systems. The five different interfaces of each system were given to 16 potential users for evaluation and comparison. Analysis of the results revealed no significant difference between the mean scores of the two types of interface. Noting that the automatic menus are obtained as a by-product of the system analysis stage, and that they can be improved by users during prototyping, it is concluded that the method provides a good start for the interface design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-89
Number of pages17
JournalInteracting with Computers
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995


  • human-computer interaction
  • interface design
  • system analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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