Supporting task performance: is text or video better?
Norris, Brian E; Wong, B L William
Multimedia technology allows a variety of the presentation formats to portray instructions for performing a task. These formats include the use of text, graphics, video, aural, photographs, used singly or in combination (Kawin, 1992; Hills, 1984; Newton, 1990; Bailey, 1996). As part of research at the Multimedia Systems Research Laboratory to identify a syntax for the use of multimedia elements, an experiment was conducted to determine whether the use text or video representations of task instructions was more effective at communicating task instructions (Norris, 1996). This paper reports on the outcome of that study. The repair and assembly environment of a local whiteware manufacturer provided the study domain. The task chosen for the study was the replacement of a heating element in a cooktop oven. As there were no task instructions available from the manufacturer, the study was conducted in two phases: Phase I was a cognitive task analysis of service technicians to determine the steps as well as the cues and considerations of the assembly task; and in Phase II we evaluated the text and video representations of the task instructions. The next sections briefly describe the methodology and the results from the experiment.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series number: 97/03
Research Type: Discussion Paper