Findings from an Experiment on Flow Direction of Business Process Models

Figl, Kathrin and Strembeck, Mark (2015) Findings from an Experiment on Flow Direction of Business Process Models. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architectures. Lecture Notes in Informatics (LNI) - Proceedings, Volume P-248, Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V., Bonn. pp. 59-73. ISBN 978-3-88579-642-8


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A core aspect of diagrammatic process modeling is the visualization of the logical and temporal order in which tasks are to be performed in a process. While conventions and guidelines exist that promote modeling processes from left-to-right or from top-to-bottom, no empirically validated design rationale can be provided for this choice so far. Therefore, this paper seeks to determine whether some flow directions are better than others from a cognitive point of view. We present the results of a controlled pilot experiment comparing the effects of four flow directions (left-to-right, right-to-left, top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top) on process model comprehension with a small sample size of 44 participants. Although there is a variety of theoretical arguments which support the use of a left-to-right flow direction as convention for process models, the preliminary empirical results of the pilot experiment were less clear-cut and showed that model readers also adapted well to uncommon reading directions.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: model layout / reading direction / flow direction / business process models
Divisions: Departments > Informationsverarbeitung u Prozessmanag. > Wirtschaftsinformatik und Neue Medien
Version of the Document: Published
Variance from Published Version: None
Depositing User: Elena Simukovic
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2018 13:33
Last Modified: 06 May 2018 10:52
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