Theoretically motivated tool for automatically generating command aliases

Sarah Nichols, Frank E. Ritter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


A useful approach towards improving interface design is to incorporate known HCI theory in design tools. As a step toward this, we have created a tool incorporating several known psychological results (e.g., alias generation rules and the keystroke model). The tool, simple additions to a spreadsheet developed for psychology, helps create theoretically motivated aliases for command line interfaces, and could be further extended to other interface types. It was used to semiautomatically generate a set of aliases for the interface to a cognitive modelling system. These aliases reduce typing time by approximately 50%. Command frequency data, necessary for computing time savings and useful for arbitrating alias clashes, can be difficult to obtain. We found that expert users can quickly provide useful and reasonably consistent estimates, and that the time savings predictions were robust across their predictions and when compared with a uniform command frequency distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
Editors Anon
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 1995
EventProceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Part 2 (of 2) - Denver, CO, USA
Duration: May 7 1995May 11 1995


OtherProceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Part 2 (of 2)
CityDenver, CO, USA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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