EXPLORATORY USER STUDY TO EVALUATE THE EFFECT OF STREET NAME CHANGES ON ROUTE PLANNING USING 2D MAPS
- Centre for Geoinformation Science, Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Keywords: Street name changes, Eye tracking, Route planning, 2D maps, User study
Abstract. This paper presents the results of an exploratory user study using 2D maps to observe and analyse the effect of street name changes on prospective route planning. The study is part of a larger research initiative to understand the effect of street name changes on wayfinding. The common perception is that street name changes affect our ability to navigate an environment, but this has not yet been tested with an empirical user study. A combination of a survey, the thinking aloud method and eye tracking was used with a group of 20 participants, mainly geoinformatics students. A within-subject participant assignment was used. Independent variables were the street network (regular and irregular) and orientation cues (street names and landmarks) portrayed on a 2D map. Dependent variables recorded were the performance (were the participant able to plan a route between the origin and destination?); the accuracy (was the shortest path identified?); the time taken to complete a task; and fixation points with eye tracking. Overall, the results of this exploratory study suggest that street name changes impact the prospective route planning performance and process that individuals use with 2D maps. The results contribute to understanding how route planning changes when street names are changed on 2D maps. It also contributes to the design of future user studies. To generalise the findings, the study needs to be repeated with a larger group of participants.