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User Interaction With Maintenance Information: A Performance Analysis of Hypertext Versus Hard Copy Formats.

Nelson BC; Smith TJ
Paper in Proceeds of Human Factors Society 34th Annual Meeting Human Factors Soc PP 229-233 :229-233
Four difference formats of an existing mining equipment repair manual were prepared for a U.S. Bureau of Mines comparative human performance test: (1) original hard-copy text, (2) improved hard- copy text with enhanced readability and indexing features, (3) computerized (hypertext) version of original text, and (4) hypertext version of improved text with interactive help features. Students in a diesel mechanics class (n=55) then were tested for proficiency in accessing and understanding information presented in these different formats. The results indicate that (1) although the users accessed the information less quickly using the computer compared with hard copy, they positively endorsed computerized hypertext presentation of maintenance information, and (2) enhanced text readability and indexing improved access to and understanding of maintenance information, but this improvement was not subjectively appreciated by the users relative to other manuals they had used. This test indicates that changes to computerized maintenance manuals should be made cautiously, and that more research is needed to measure different hypertext design and training factors.
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OP 135-92
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Paper in Proceeds of Human Factors Society 34th Annual Meeting. Human Factors Soc., PP. 229-233
Page last reviewed: September 24, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division