Hypertext vs. paper

Subject: Hypertext vs. paper
From: Anatole Wilson <awilson -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 25 Mar 1994 13:13:56 PST

I remember reading about a study thatused three groups of subjects--one
used just books (I believe they were encyclopedias), one usedonlyan
online text, and the third group had access to both text and online documents.
The three groups were then given a set of tasks to perform (look up specific
topics and answer questions on them).

The third group was able to accomplish their tasks faster than the other two
groups, and provided more complete information. If I remember correctly, the
online group accessed information faster, buttheir answers were less complete
than the other two groups. There was also a higher "frustration factor"
for the online group when they couldn't find a topic quickly. The
text-only group took considerably longer than the other two groups.

What this telle me is that there will be circumstances that favor using
hardcopy, and there are other circumstances in which online information is
the better choice. Previous posts have already elaborated on those

I realize that without the citation or specific information about the type of
interface used and the questions asked, this becomes merely anecdotal, but
I just don't have a copy of the study available. Sorry.
Anatole Wilson "An invasion of armies can
Sr. Assoc. Information Developer be resisted, but not an idea
IBM, Santa Teresa Labs whose time has come."
awilson -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com --Victor Hugo
all company disclaimers apply

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