Recommendations for a Software Application Based on Individual Differences
The purpose of this research was to document individual differences while using a specific computer software application and to make recommendations for a new interface based on those differences. Differences between users account for a wide range of human factors considerations. The individual differences of concern in this research were level of computer anxiety, cognitive style, and method of problem-solving.
The research hypotheses were:
Although correlations were weak, trends were present. Participants with Introversion (I), Sensing (S), Thinking (T), and Judging (J) preferences demonstrated a higher average level of computer anxiety. They also averaged higher scores on task completion and higher percentages of problem-solving time using reading methods. Conversely, participants with Extraversion (E), iNtuition (N), Feeling (F), and Perceiving (P) preferences had a lower average level of computer anxiety, averaged lower scores on the tutorial, and averaged a higher percentage of time using non-reading problem-solving methods.
The results showed that participants who used certain styles of problem-solving methods did not read the manuals provided. Instead, they clicked around the screen randomly looking for hints. In this research, persons who used these types of problem-solving had a lower success rate when completing the tutorial. Additionally, these users became frustrated and verbalized feelings of failure.
The researcher made recommendations based on the finding that participants with certain preferences read the manual less, which resulted in poorer performance on the tutorial. The recommendations were aimed at bringing small amounts of text to the computer screen. This would provide hints needed by participants who tended not to read printed manuals.
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