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Published on May 8, 2013

* Title *
Promoting Hotkey Use through Rehearsal with ExposeHK

* Abstract *
Keyboard shortcuts allow fast interaction, but they are known to be infrequently used, with most users relying heavily on traditional pointer-based selection for most commands. We describe the goals, design, and evaluation of ExposeHK, a new interface mechanism that aims to increase hotkey use. ExposeHK's four key design goals are: 1) enable users to browse hotkeys; 2) allow non-expert users to issue hotkey commands as a physical rehearsal of expert performance; 3) exploit spatial memory to assist non-expert users in identifying hotkeys; and 4) maximise expert performance by using consistent shortcuts in a flat command hierarchy. ExposeHK supports these objectives by displaying hotkeys overlaid on their associated commands when a modifier key is pressed. We evaluated ExposeHK in three empirical studies using toolbars, menus, and a tabbed 'ribbon' toolbar. Results show that participants used more hotkeys, and used them more often, with ExposeHK than with other techniques; they were faster with ExposeHK than with either pointing or other hotkey methods; and they strongly preferred ExposeHK. Our research shows that ExposeHK can substantially improve the user's transition from a 'beginner mode' of interaction to a higher level of expertise.

* Authors *
Sylvain Malacria, University of Canterbury - www.malacria.fr
Gilles Bailly, Max Planck Institute - www.gillesbailly.fr
Joel Harrison, University of Canterbury
Andy Cockburn, University of Canterbury - www.cosc.canterbury.ac.nz/andrew.cockburn
Carl Gutwin, University of Saskatchewan - www.cs.usask.ca/faculty/gutwin

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