An Empirical Study to Evaluate the Best Anchoring Positions in Nested Menus for Optimized Access Time

Author(s): P. Kandari, A. Jain
Venue: ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes Volume 40 Issue 4
Date: 2015

Type of Experiement: Case Study
Class/Experience Level: Professional


This study looks into the time users spend accessing specific menu items in a desktop application with a user interface. The paper aims to analyze the placement of parent and child menu items in an effort to determine the optimal positions for anchoring points between parent and child menus. An earlier, similar study proposed positioning the anchor point in the middle of the group of child menu items.

The experiment collected data using three levels of menus with 7 menus to consider for each listing, where each menu item was used to be the anchoring position. Optimality was measured by distance traversed with the new anchor points compared to the distance traversed with the traditional anchor point of being the first menu item. In conclusion, positioning the anchor point in the middle of the stack is the most optimal.