The effects of visual metaphor and cognitive style for mental modeling in a hypermedia-based environment

Jiub-De Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

With the exponential growth of Internet technology, the notion of users' cognition when navigating such a vast information space has gained prominence. Studies suggest that metaphors can serve as effective tools to scaffold users' mental modeling processes. However, how users conceive of the metaphorical aid (as opposed to simply how they perceive it) remains questionable. Cognitive style, or the user's preferred way of information processing, has thus been posited as a possible factor affecting the success of the metaphorical approach in a hypermedia environment. This study explores the effects of visual metaphors and cognitive styles on users' learning performances in terms of structural knowledge and feelings of disorientation. The results indicate that a visual metaphor could improve the quality of mental formation, yet simultaneously increase users' mental load during navigation. In addition, cognitive style is a crucial factor that can significantly affect users' learning performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-629
Number of pages16
JournalInteracting with Computers
Volume19
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2007

Keywords

  • Cognitive style
  • Interface design
  • Structural knowledge
  • Visual metaphor

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