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Published on Mar 27, 2014
Modeling the Perception of User Performance
Max Nicosia, Antti Oulasvirta, Per Ola Kristensson
This paper studies how users perceive their own performance in two alternative user interfaces. We extend methodology from psychophysics to the study of interactive performance and conduct two experiments in order to create a model of users' perception of their own performance. In our studies, two interfaces are sequentially used in a pointing task, and users are asked to rate in which interface their performance was higher. We first differentiate the effects of objective performance (speed and accuracy) versus interface qualities (distance between elements and width of elements) on perceived performance. We then derive a model that predicts the amount of change required in an interface for users to reliably detect a difference. The model is useful as a heuristic for predicting if a new interface design is better enough for users to reliably appreciate the obtained gain in user performance. We validate the model via a separate user study, and conclude by discussing how to apply our findings to design problems.