User-centred mobile navigation system interface development for improved personal geo-identification and navigation
Orientating and navigating with the use of mobile navigation systems involves interaction with different sources of information. Landmarks are very important into linking these sources. However, outcomes of user research projects in such fields are not yet fully implemented in the mobile navigation systems that are currently available.
The objectives of this paper are the presentation and explanation of a conceptual model of the interactions between the users of a geo-mobile application, their mental maps, reality and the mobile map displays. This model is used to create a series of guidelines for a usable mobile (carto-) graphic interface which contributes to the implementation of a prototype design solution.
In order to meet the objectives of the research, two main sources of information are used: already existing research literature and the results of the analysis of two of our experiments with real users. The aim of the first experiment was to compare different methodologies for field-based usability testing of geo-mobile applications. Investigating the behaviour of pedestrian visitors to unfamiliar cities while orientating and navigating with the use of already existing geo-mobile applications was the aim of the latter.
A conceptual design of a user interaction model as well as user interface prototype design solutions for personal geo-identification and navigation can be considered as the concrete outcomes of the research described in this paper. The results also demonstrate the importance of landmarks in the geo-identification and navigation processes of the users.
Following User-Centred Design in order to develop a more usable mobile cartographic interface for pedestrian navigation can reveal a lot of information regarding the user-environment-system interactions. Several design aspects can be extracted from modeling these interactions that could be used for the prototype development. However, usability testing is needed to determine the success of the followed approach.