Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Natural command names and initial learning: a study of text-editing terms


View as: Print Mobile App ACM Digital Library Share: Send by email Share on reddit Share on StumbleUpon Share on Hacker News Share on Tweeter Share on Facebook
In the first of two studies of “naturalness” in command names, computer-naive typists composed instructions to “someone else” for correcting a sample text. There was great variety in their task-descriptive lexicon and a lack of correspondence between both their vocabulary and their underlying conceptions of the editing operations and those of some computerized text editors. In the second study, computer-naive typists spent two hours learning minimal text-editing systems that varied in several ways. Lexical naturalness (frequency of use in Study 1) made little difference in their performance. By contrast, having different, rather than the same names for operations requiring different syntax greatly reduced difficulty. It is concluded that the design of user-compatible commands involves deeper issues than are captured by the slogan “naturalness.” However, there are limitations to our observations. Only initial learning of a small set of commands was at issue and generalizations to other situations will require further testing.

The full text of this article is premium content


 

No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
  

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.