Does user experience determine user success with a climate decision support system?
Thursday 2:00pm Ritchie Hall: 368
Oral Session Part of Thursday B: Broadening Participation and Student Development
Lindsay Maudlin, North Carolina State University
karen mcneal, Auburn University Main Campus
A web-based decision support system (DSS), the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation, and Adaptation Project (PINEMAP) DSS, was developed to provide climate information for forestry stakeholders in the Southeast United States. The usability of the PINEMAP DSS was evaluated through tracking the eye movements of participants as they interacted with the various tools within the PINEMAP DSS. Two study populations were used: the first included 30 forestry professionals (18 males and 12 females; 21 to 65 years old; highest degrees included 6 undergraduate degrees, 17 master's degrees, and 6 doctoral degrees), and the second included 12 undergraduate students from introductory physical sciences courses (4 males and 8 females; 18 to 21 years old; grade levels included 2 freshmen, 8 sophomores, and 2 juniors). In addition to eye-tracking data, each participant answered a questionnaire and completed tasks related to the PINEMAP DSS. This study seeks to determine how user experience (measured by a combination of education level, age, work experience, and previous exposure to climate information) impacts the ways in which a user navigates and views the climate information within the PINEMAP DSS and the user's success in completing tasks and answering questions based on the information. By studying the differences between those with little experience (novices) and those with more experience (experts), recommendations can be provided to website developers to create DSSs that help novices perform more like experts and therefore better understand the climate information needed for their decision-making roles.