Investigating the Flow Direction in Business Process Models: An Eye Tracking Study

Universität Ulm

BA Abschlussvortrag, Kai Kretschmann, Ort: O27/545, Datum: 03.12.2019, Zeit: 10:30 Uhr

There exist a plethora of different process modelling languages for the graphical documentation of business processes. In this context, the Business Process Model and
Notation (BPMN) 2.0 is one of the most well-known modelling languages and has become
the de-facto standard in industry. Guidelines in BPMN 2.0 exist that describe to keep a modelling and reading direction from left-to-right or top-to-bottom. However, there exist no work so far providing empirical evidence about the influence of different reading direction during the reading and comprehension of process models. For this reason, the thesis at hand addresses this issue in an empirical study in order to investigate the influence of different reading directions. In particular, an eye tracking study involving 28 participants was conducted. In this study, four reading directions (i.e., left-to-right, right-to-left, top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top) were presented to the participants and their influence on process model comprehension was evaluated. The results of the eye tracking study show that performance in process model comprehension was similar in all four reading directions and, hence, no significant differences were found. Moreover, the results demonstrate that process model readers adapt well to less common reading directions in business process models.