Viewing personal history records: A comparison of Tabular format and graphical presentation using LifeLines

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1998-11-20

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Thirty-six participants used a static version of either LifeLines, a graphical interface, or a Tabular representation to answer questions about a database of temporal personal history information. Results suggest that overall the LifeLines representation led to much faster response times, primarily for questions which involved interval comparisons and making intercategorical connections. In addition, on a follow-up questionnaire, nine out of eleven questions rated LifeLines preferable in terms of user satisfaction. A "first impression" test showed that LifeLines can reduce some of the biases of the tabular record summary. A post-experimental memory test led to significantly (p<.004) higher recall for LifeLines. Finally, simple interaction techniques are proposed to augment LifeLines ability to better deal with precise dates, attribute coding and overlaps.

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