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Weldon, L., Mills, C., Koved, L., Shneiderman, B. (1985)
The structure of information in online and paper technical manuals
Proc. Human Factors Society - 29th Annual Conference (Santa Monica, CA) 1110-1113.

An experiment was conducted to compare online computer manuals to paper manuals. For each type of manual there were two different database structures -- a linear (sequential) structure and a tree structure. The results showed that people using the paper manuals were faster at performing a switch setting task based on information in the manual than were people using the online manuals. No significant differences were found in speed of performance between the linear and tree structures. Nor were there any differences in the number of correct switch settings for the different types of manuals. The subjective evaluation data revealed that the online manuals were rated as better and judged to be more organized than the paper manuals.

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