Posts Tagged usability

Perceptions of electronic navigation displays

Lavie, T. and Oron-Gilad, T., Perception of navigation displays, Behaviour & Information Technology, (in press) accepted November 2011.

Abstract

This study evaluated aesthetics and usability of in-vehicle electronic navigation maps. Experiment 1 examined map displays that varied in the amount of information presented, abstraction level, graphic/color style, and the existence of landmarks in both urban and rural environments using objective and subjective measures. Twenty participants performed navigation/localization tasks using various map configurations while driving a driving simulator and completed usability and aesthetic questionnaires (using the Perceived aesthetics and usability questionnaire items for maps). The minimal detail map produced better performances and higher usability and aesthetic ratings when using maps with no landmarks. Adding information in the form of landmarks was found advantageous compared to additional textual information. Abstractions were most advantageous when combined with minimal amount of detail. Moderate abstractions were sufficient for obtaining the desired benefits when more details were present. The graphic/color style affected subjective perceptions. Overall, high correlations were found for the perceived aesthetics and usability scales, however, low correlations were found between actual usability (i.e., performance) and perceived usability pointing to the importance of using both objective and subjective usability measures. Experiment 2 examined how maps varying in their aesthetic level (aesthetic versus non-aesthetic), different color arrangements, and 2D versus 3D landmarks affect subjective and objective measures. Participants distinguished between usability and aesthetic perceptions and usability perceptions were less affected by aesthetics when the aesthetic level of the maps was low. Color arrangement did not affect the measures examined. Both 2D and 3D landmarks were found to be aesthetic and usable. We conclude this paper with guidelines for designing in-vehicle navigation map displays.

Here are some map images:

Examples of maps with more (right maps) and less (left maps) information for the rural (upper row) and urban (bottom row) settings

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Rural maps showing examples of the three graphic styles used in Experiment 1 (a-c) and an example of the additional non-aesthetic color palette used in Experiment 2

(a) Contemporary Blueimage (b) Traditional Grayimage (c) Realistic Green

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(d) Non-aesthetic color combination

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Examples of landmarks in an urban map

No landmarks

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Few landmarks – close to the route

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Many landmarks

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Aesthetics and usability of in-vehicle navigation displays

For those of you interested in the relationship between aesthetics and usability, we have recently published a new article in this area specifically related to in-vehicle navigation maps.

Aesthetics and usability of in-vehicle navigation displays .  International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 69(1-2), 80-99.

Talia Lavie, Tal Oron-Gilad, Joachim Meyer

Research Highlights

►In vehicle navigation maps with minimal detail were found to be most aesthetic and usable. ►Moderately abstracted maps were sufficient for obtaining usability and aesthetic benefits. ►The color schema of navigation maps did not affect perceived aesthetics and usability. ►High connections were found between perceived aesthetics and perceived usability. ►Users’ usability evaluations were not always in line with their actual performances.

Abstract

This research evaluates the aesthetics and usability of various in-vehicle electronic navigation map configurations. Study 1 adapted the aesthetics scale (Lavie and Tractinsky, 2004) to accommodate evaluations of map displays. Study 2 examined map displays that vary in the amount of information presented, their abstraction level and color schema, using objective and subjective usability measures. Maps with minimal detail produced best performances and highest evaluations. Abstractions were found to be advantageous when combined with reduced amount of detail and specific color schemas. Moderate abstractions were sufficient for obtaining the desired benefits. The color schema mainly affected the objective measures, pointing to the importance of good contrast between the cursor and the map colors. Study 3 further examined map schemas. Color schemas again had no effect on the perceptions of aesthetics and usability. Overall, similar results and high correlations were found for the perceived aesthetics and usability scales, indicating the connection between perceived aesthetics and usability. Lower correlations were found between the actual usability (performance) and the aesthetics scale. Finally, users’ usability evaluations were not always in line with their actual performance, pointing to the importance of using objective usability measures.

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Robotic Displays For Dismounted Warfighters: A Field Study

Here is the abstract of one of my latest studies. It appears in a special issue of JCEDM “Improving Human-Robot Interaction in Complex Operational Environments: Translating Theory into Practice”

* Oron-Gilad, T., Redden, E.S. and Minkov, Y. (2011). Robotic Displays for Dismounted Warfighter Situation Awareness of Remote Locations: A field study, Journal of Cognitive Ergonomics and Decision Making. Accepted November 2010.Volume 5, Number 1, March 2011, pp. 29–54.

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1555343411399076
This study investigated scalability of unmanned vehicle displays for dismounted warfighters. Task performance, workload and preferences for three display devices were examined in two operational settings: tele-operation of an unmanned ground vehicle and intelligence gathering from a remote unmanned vehicle. Previous research has demonstrated variability in operational needs with regard to active tele-operation versus passive intelligence gathering. Thus, it was important to identify whether there was actually a dichotomy between the two in terms of screen space requirements and whether this difference stems from task differences or other factors.  Thirty-one soldiers participated in a field study at Ft. Benning, GA. They were required to perform tele-operation and intelligence gathering tasks. Results reconfirmed our hypothesis that display type influences performance in intelligence-related tasks that require the use of video feed and digital map. No significant differences among display types were found in the UGV tele-operation task. In conclusion, dismounted warfighters can adequately perform both active and passive duties with a hand held device where the video window is as small as 4.3 inches in diameter. However, monocular HMDs for robotic displays can be problematic and should be carefully assessed before use in dismounted warfighters missions.

Display devices used in the study

Display devices used in the study

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