Goal-oriëntation, goal-setting and goal-driven behavior in (minimalist) user instructions

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This paper opens with a summary of minimalist design strategies that aim to optimize user instructions. Next, it discusses three recent research efforts to further improve these strategies. The common focus in these efforts is the attention to people’s goal-related management and control of attention, time, and effort. First, a comprehensive framework for designing procedures—the Four Components model—is described. The design principles for the goal component focus on supporting the user’s goal orientation and goal setting. Second, two experiments are reported that studied the problem of when it is best to present conceptual information. When instructions employed a learning-by-doing approach, users clearly preferred a work-flow mode of presentation. This mode optimally exploits the user’s momentary interest in conceptual information during goal-driven task execution. The third research effort concentrates on user affect in instructions. The main idea is that motivation and emotion play a key role in task appraisals and corresponding actions. After discussing theories and design approaches, an experiment is discussed in which instructions were optimized for affect. Good results for perceived relevance and self-confidence were found in all conditions. Presence of an affect-oriented co-user did not enhance these effects. The paper concludes that the contribution of the efforts extends beyond the minimalist framework from which they originated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-305
JournalIEEE transactions on professional communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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