Cognitive Diagram Understanding and Task Performance in Systems Analysis and Design

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Models play an important role in systems analysis and design (SAD). A diagrammatic model is defined as a mapping from a domain to a visual representation in such a way that relevant information is preserved to meet a specific goal. So far, cognitive research on diagram criteria in relation to task performance has been fragmented. The aim of this paper is to (1) consolidate research on the cognitive processing steps involved during understanding and task performance with diagrams, (2) consolidate corresponding criteria for such diagrams to best support cognitive processing, and (3) demonstrate the support effective diagrams provide for performing SAD tasks. Addressing the first aim, we develop a theoretical cognitive framework of task performance with diagrams called CogniDia. It integrates different cognitive theories from research on diagrams in software engineering and information systems. Regarding the second aim, we review the literature to organize criteria for effective cognitive processing of diagrams. We identify research gaps on verbal and task
processing. Regarding the third aim, we use the theoretical cognitive framework to investigate how diagrams support the SAD process effectively.

Published online: May 22, 2021
This paper is available as OPEN ACCESS and may be downloaded from the Open Access tab.

Additional Details

Author Monika Malinova and Jan Mendling
Year Preprints
Volume Preprints
Issue Preprints
Keywords Models, diagrams, systems analysis and design, cognitive processing, criteria, guidelines, task analysis, CogniDia
Page Numbers DOI: 10.25300/MISQ/2022/15262