Snookered by an interruption? Use a cue

in BCS-HCI '12, Conference paper (text), Birmingham, UK


When routine tasks are interrupted, erroneous slips become more likely. Expertise is no defence
against these kinds of errors but visual hints can alleviate such negative effects in computer
interfaces. We compared previous-action cueing with next-action cueing, measuring the effects on
error rate, and found that both approaches were statistically equivalent in helping to mitigate the
disruptive effects of interruptions. Following an interruption, a cue should be displayed
highlighting the last action performed by the user - a trivial operation for software applications.