Transfer of Knowledge Across Computer Command Menus

John B. Smelcer, Neff Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Two experiments are reported that examine the effects of menu organization and command naming on performance within and across computer command menus. The work on performance within menus extends prior work on information retrieval (IR) menus to computer command menus. We found that selection of computer commands conforms to the same laws that govern selection of IR categories and object names, with alphabetic organization leading to shorter search times in early trials when users knew the names of the commands. When users did not know the exact names of the commands, the functional organization led to shorter search times. More importantly, we found that the knowledge of the functional organization transferred from one application menu to another, thereby reducing search time in the menu of the second application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-165
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Interaction
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 4 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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