16.11.2016
Doctoral Dissertation

21.11.2016 M.Sc. (Econ) Liisa Kuparinen (Faculty of Information Technology, Information Systems Science)

M.Sc. (Econ) Liisa Kuparinen defends her doctoral dissertation in Information Systems Science ”Lost or Not? Designing and Evaluating User Interfaces of Mobile Map Services: The Viewpoint of Supporting Users’ Location Awareness”. Opponent Professor Kaisa Väänänen (Tampere University of Technology) and custos Senior Lecturer Antti Pirhonen (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish.

M.Sc. (Econ) Liisa Kuparinen defends her doctoral dissertation in Information Systems Science Lost or Not? Designing and Evaluating User Interfaces of Mobile Map Services: The Viewpoint of Supporting Users’ Location Awareness. Opponent Professor Kaisa Väänänen (Tampere University of Technology) and custos Senior Lecturer Antti Pirhonen (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in Finnish.

Abstract

”Lost or Not? Designing and Evaluating User Interfaces of Mobile Map Services: The Viewpoint of Supporting Users’ Location Awareness”

The motivation for this thesis arose from the problem of people getting lost, both with and without mobile maps. I will answer a primary research question: 1) How can we support users’ location awareness with mobile map applications? As an addition to this, I have the following sub-questions: a) Why do people get lost even when using a mobile map application? b) What are the best practices to support navigation? c) How can we research what the important objects in the natural environment are that should be emphasized in mobile maps? d) How do we prevent the user from focusing on the map service at the expense of perceiving the location in the real environment? e) What would a good mobile map application be like concerning the usability and user experience?

This thesis has four parts. In the introduction, I discuss the topic based on previous research. Second, I present the article where I studied one method of user-centric design, the eye-tracking method, and discussed its suitability for mobile map research in the wild. Third, I present articles where I compared augmented reality towards the real world in the sense of perceiving distances. Fourth, I present articles where I formulated and validated usability heuristics for evaluating mobile map applications.

As result, I state that users’ location awareness may be supported by many technical and design-based solutions as well as taking user-centred design approach as part of the development process. One good method to be used in this approach is eyetracking, which is valuable for studying users’ areas of interest while navigating and self-locating. Augmented reality is one possibility to keep users paying attention to the real world and through that, to stay aware of their location. Still, as it seems to be more difficult for the users to perceive distances when using augmented reality versus real world, special focus needs to be put on the design of presenting location information in augmented reality based maps. Other solutions to support user’s location awareness are, e.g., using multimodal interaction techniques and making use of user-generated content to make the user experience of application more personal and locations memorable. There are also numerous design recommendations presented in the previous research and in the usability heuristics I introduce in this thesis, and following these is needed to support users’ location awareness. This thesis is supposed to be usable in the development of mobile map services to better support users’ needs.

Keywords: mobile maps, map service design, location awareness, usability, user experience, spatial perception, usability heuristics, augmented reality

The dissertation is published in the series Jyväskylä Studies in Computing, number 246. University of Jyväskylä, 2016, 94 pp. (+ included articles) ISSN 1456-5390, ISBN 978-951-39-6829-8, ISBN 978-951-39-6830-4. It is available at the Soppi University Shop and University of Jyväskylä Web Store, tel. +358 (0)40 805 3825, myynti@library.jyu.fi

Further information:

Liisa Kuparinen, puh. 044 3737425, liisa@liisakuparinen.fi
Communications Officer Anitta Kananen tiedotus@jyu.fi, puh. +358 40 805 4142