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Cognitive load and its impact on usage of email applications
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The shift from analogue to digital data has been a trend the last couple of decades. One reason for such a switch is the ease and effectiveness with which it can be stored and spread. Among the most common methods people use to spread their data today is by e-mail and therefore, the goal should be to decrease the cognitive load when utilizing e-mail services. The main hypothesis of this thesis is that a prototype of an e-mail application designed to induce lower levels of cognitive load to its users is more time effective and less mentally demanding than one of its market counterparts; Gmail. Male and female participants with the age group 18-40 (N=21) performed five different tasks on both the prototype and the Gmail application. These tasks were accompanied by a dual-task, which was to tap their finger(s) rhythmically with their non-dominant hand on a metal plate to induce further cognitive load. The result showed that the tasks were more mentally demanding and frustrating when using the Gmail application compared to the prototype. The results showed that the execution time for five out of five tasks where longer when using the Gmail application compared to when using the prototype, but only three out of five had a statistically significant difference in time.

 

Abstract [sv]

Växlingen från analogdata till digitaldata har varit en trend de senaste två decennierna. En anledning till en sådan förändring är fördelarna i att mer lätthanterligt kunna spara och sprida digitaldata. Bland de vanligaste metoderna människor använder idag för dataspridning är e-mejl och därför bör vi sträva att minska den kognitiva belastningen vid användandet av e-mejl tjänster. Hypotesen av denna uppsats är att en e-mejls applikations prototyp designad för att ge mindre nivåer av kognitiv belastning är mer tidseffektiv och är mindre mentalt belastande än en av dess marknadsmotparter; Gmail. Manliga och kvinnliga deltagare i åldersgruppen 18–40 (N=21) fick utföra fem olika uppdrag utförda på både prototypen och Gmailapplikationen. Uppdragen var kompletterade med ett samtida sidouppdrag vilket var att under uppdragens gång slå deras finger rytmiskt mot en metallplatta med deras icke-dominanta hand för att öka kognitiv belastning. Resultaten visade att uppdragen krävde mer mentala resurser och att deltagarna hade högre frustrationnivåer under användningen av Gmailapplikationen än på prototypen medan 3 utav 5 uppdrag visade statistisk signifikant skillnad i tid.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 17
Keywords [en]
usability, cognitive, load, tapping, email
Keywords [sv]
användbarhet, kognitiv, belastning, tapping, email
National Category
Psychology Interaction Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-161237OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-161237DiVA, id: diva2:1333121
Educational program
Programme in Cognitive Science
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-07-02 Created: 2019-06-30 Last updated: 2019-07-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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