Redirecting direct manipulation or what happens when the goal is in front of you but the interface says to turn left?

Wai Tat Fu, Wayne D. Gray

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The feeling of directness arises when the interface permits the user to manipulate an interface object in a way analogous to manipulating the real object. However, we argue here that the essence of direct manipulation is not directness per se, but manipulation of task relevant objects in a task relevant manner. The research reported studies users of HyperCard after 20 hours of practice. We found that when users deviated flom taught strategies that 25% of the time they invented new strategies that attempted a more direct manipulation of the task object than that permitted by the design of the interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes
EventConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 1999 - Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Duration: May 15 1999May 20 1999


OtherConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 1999
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPittsburgh, PA


  • Difference-reduction
  • Direct manipulation
  • Hill-climbing
  • Means-ends analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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