Investigating the impact of representation features on decision model comprehension

Djordje Djurica, Tyge-F. Kummer, Jan Mendling*, Kathrin Figl

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Decision models play an important role in various areas of information systems research, including system analysis and design, compliance management, and various application domains. Decision models must be effectively presented so that analysts can assure their correctness and completeness. So far, empirical research on the cognitive effectiveness of decision models has provided partially inconclusive results. Our paper provides novel insights into the drivers of decision model comprehension by moving from a classification based on representation archetypes to granular representation features. Using an experimental research design, we discover that the decision model type must be assessed in conjunction with other representational factors, such as representation structure (expanded vs. frugal) and representation design (monochromatic vs. colours). In this way, we extend prior arguments of cognitive fit theory by demonstrating that colour can be used to compensate for a misfit of decision model and task, and structural features can further increase model comprehension. We further studied the root causes of the observed effects by using eye-tracking. Our findings have implications for both cognitive information systems research and practice, as they can be used to guide decision model users and tool vendors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems (EJIS)
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 202022 Information technology

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