Some Evidence for Impact of Limited Education on Hierarchical User Interface Navigation

Indrani Medhi, Meera Lakshmanan, Kentaro Toyama, and Edward Cutrell

Abstract

One of the greatest challenges in designing applications for economically poor communities is that potential users may have little or no education. We investigated how limited education appears to impact the ability to navigate a hierarchical UI, even when it has no text. We scored 60 participants from low-income communities in India using tests of textual literacy and Raven’s Progressive Matrices. These were used as proxies for educational level and a subset of cognitive abilities. We then evaluated participants’ performance on a UI task involving hierarchical navigation. First, our results confirm that textual literacy is correlated with scores on the Raven’s test. In addition, we found that performance on both instruments are predictive of performance in navigating UI hierarchies, even when the UI is text-free. This provides statistically significant confirmation of previous anecdotal hypotheses. We conclude with design recommendations for UI hierarchies for people with limited education.

Details

Publication typeInproceedings
PublisherACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
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