Gellevij, M., & Van der Meij, H. (2002). Screen captures to support switching attention. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 45(2), 115-122.
This study set out to validate the supportive role of screen captures for switching attention. Forty-two participants learned how to work with Microsoft Excel with a paper manual. There were three types of manuals: a textual variant, a visual manual with full screen captures and a visual manual with a mixture of partial and full screen captures. The findings show that participants in all conditions looked up from the manual to the screen on about 97% of the cases in which such a switch was called for. Rank order analysis shows that users of the visual manuals switched attention significantly more often than did users of the textual manual. No differences were found between conditions on learning effects and training time.
Note: Publications in 2002 with Mark Gellevij as first author can be accessed by downloading Marks PhD Thesis which includes these papers. The address is: