Models and Theories in Human-Computer Interaction/GOMS Useful but Imperfect

GOMS Useful but Imperfect (Alex Whigham)Edit

The GOMS model presented in chapter 4 of the textbook introduced useful tools to analyze the efficiency of a system or interface. The biggest benefit of the GOMS model is in the specificity of the tasks or goals the interface can accomplish, the actions or operations that can be used to complete the tasks, and a user's performance and efficiency while completing these actions and tasks. As a web developer, I create new web pages in which users have to perform data entry and view and understand how the data relates. The GOMS model would be a great way to understand what the users need to know before using the website so that I could write a help page to ensure new or inexperienced users could use the interface efficiently. However, the GOMS model would be difficult to use because it assumes the users are experts and as I am creating new web pages, all of my users are beginners. In this case I must create the interface in a way that is intuitive and easy for users to find which operations need to be performed to accomplish their goals. The GOMS model also doesn't account for a users impatience or frustration. For example, if a web page displays an abundant amount of data and has a longer load time, users can lose focus if they frequently visit the page and wait for it to load. In this case the user's ability to perform the same task would vary over time which is often the case with my website which manipulates and displays information in a database. While the GOMS method does provide useful information on the usability of interfaces and could be used in the analysis of my web pages, it doesn't provide a complete view of the system.