Usability evaluation of schematic London metro maps using eye-tracking

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Usability evaluation of schematic London metro maps using eye-tracking


Author: Liu, Zheng
Title: Usability evaluation of schematic London metro maps using eye-tracking
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2012
Subject: Subways -- England -- London -- Maps.
Map reading.
Eye -- Movements.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics
Pages: viii, 58 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Since the operation of London metro system decades ago, schematic metro maps have become the most important tool to help people make their travel plans. Recently doubts about the official Tube map of London underground metro system have been raised and numerous new versions of the network were created. As a result, the demand to evaluate the usability of the metro maps has also increased. In this study, usability of the official Tube map of London and a new design of Mark Noad's are evaluated in the aspects of effectiveness, efficiency and user satisfaction using eye-tracking. This method has been applied to usability engineering widely, but has not been so common in cartography. An eye-tracking experiment was implemented with 27 participants. It included three travel decision making tasks. An online survey was also conducted with 128 valid questionnaires collected as supplements. Total travel time was used as criterion for effectiveness evaluation; completion time and mental work cost were used for efficiency evaluation; subjective scores from questions were used for satisfaction evaluation. From the analysis of results, three conclusions can be drawn: (1) the official Tube map has higher effectiveness, lower efficiency and lower satisfaction than the new map of Noad's; (2) the method of eye-tracking is highly informative. Analyzing fixations and eye movement patterns is very helpful to understanding map interpretation of users; (3) the design of map style has significant impact on users' travel decision making, especially map distance and transfer station symbol designs.

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