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Improving Users' Mental Models of Intelligent Software Tools
March/April 2011 (vol. 26 no. 2)
pp. 77-83
Shane T. Mueller, Applied Research Associates
Gary Klein, Applied Research Associates

Usability problems can persist even for software designed with human-centered design principles, especially when the software replaces or augments intelligent human capabilities. In these cases, users might have incorrect expectations about what the automated system is doing, and training and guides are necessary to help them understand the software's workings. Usability problems can often be overcome by trial-and-error experience or when communities pass down information to newer users, but the authors believe that the genuine cognitive challenges to forming functional and accurate mental models can be formalized, documented, and "trained in." This article describes the Experiential User Guide (EUG), a concept designed to address these challenges.

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Index Terms:
intelligent systems, intelligent software, use cases, mental models, usability, human-computer interaction
Shane T. Mueller, Gary Klein, "Improving Users' Mental Models of Intelligent Software Tools," IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 77-83, March-April 2011, doi:10.1109/MIS.2011.32
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