EXPLORABILITY, SATISFICING, AND SATISFACTION IN PARAMETER SPACES
1 online resource (183 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Many modern software applications have a fairly large set of variables that allow for the dynamic change of content. While a large parameter space provides users with fine-grained control over the content they are creating, even the best designed interfaces can’t help users visit every possible combination of parameters. When there are more choices than can be feasibly explored, the user will go with the best option they have seen. I call this exploratory satisficing. When the complexity of interface options is too high, the user may be forced to give up and settle for a ‘good enough’ result (i.e., satisfice), when with another interface they might have explored more options or had a different threshold of ‘good enough.’ For some users, not exploring additional options leaves them feeling like they could potentially be missing out on the discovery of more desirable possibilities. Additionally, more options means these users could spend excessive amounts of time searching through the design space, hoping they haven’t missed anything useful or interesting. My work on explorability, satisficing, and satisfaction is aimed at understanding the relationship between supporting the fluid exploration of large parameters spaces, the satisficing that results from interface and interaction design, and the user’s satisfaction with both their finished work and creative process. I contribute insights about the relationship between explorability, satisfaction, and interaction design using exploratory satisficing as the basis for that understanding. I demonstrate that measuring explorability lets me look at how engaged and immersed users are during the exploratory process as well as understanding the tradeoff users are making, borrowing from behavioral sciences and applying notions of satisficing and maximizing behavior.
Lipford, HeatherMaher, Mary LouBeorkrem, ChristopherFreeman, Heather
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2015.
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