Visual search and VDUs
Abstract Reducing search time for computer menu displays and other visual display unit (VDU) work has considerable value for potential financial savings. One area which vision scientists can consider is the optimal design configurations of height by width for typical human-computer interaction (HCI) tasks. As a preliminary step, a laboratory-type visual search task was used to investigate performance effects with various array shapes. Contrary to expectations based around the 'newspaper column' phenomenon, subjects fared significantly better with an extreme 'landscape' array. To examine possible reasons for this, eye movement studies were conducted using a scleral coil technique. Results showed greater saccade amplitudes for horizontally elongated formats. In addition, a model based on visual lobe differences is proposed. It was concluded that verbal information presented on a VDU is more easily searched for and located when arrayed in horizontally biased configurations.