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J Exp Psychol Appl. 2003 Jun;9(2):88-100.

Structuring information interfaces for procedural learning.

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Psychology Department, Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri 63130-4899, USA.


Interface design should be informed by the application of top-down cognitive principles derived from basic theory and research. Cognitive design principles from 2 domains, event cognition and media, were applied to the design of interfaces for teaching procedures. According to theories of event cognition, procedures should be presented hierarchically, organized by objects or large object parts and actions on objects. According to research on effects of media, adding appropriate graphics to text instructions can facilitate learning and memory. These principles were partially supported in 2 tasks: assembling a musical instrument and building a model. Although both top-down principles were effective in guiding interface design, they were not sufficient. They can be combined with iterative bottom-up methods to produce usable interfaces.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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