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Experimental and Theoretical Psychology

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Sorting a TV Stations Table

A Comparison of Three Methods for Sorting a TV Stations Table (Abstract)

Heike Gerdes & Joachim Funke

Today a growing number of TVs and VCRs is provided with a comfortable function which searches and stores channel numbers automatically on programme positions and displays them in a "TV Stations Table". This function replaces the awkward procedure of tuning the device step by step, but it causes the problem that users must have the possibility to reorganize the list according to their own preferences. In an experimental study we considered three different methods (exchanging, shifting, and placing of elements) to sort such lists. The purpose of the study was to to estimate the usability and likeability of the three methods. A total of 108 subjects were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions and asked to sort six word lists. Results suggest that there are clear advantages of the sort method "exchange" over the other two methods as well on measures of performance (time, buttons pressed, number of change operations) as on measures of subjective preference. The conclusion is drawn that the exchange of elements is better suited to sort TV station tables then the two other methods.

Source: Zeitschrift für Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie, 1995, 39, 13-21.

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