Designing and evaluating information spaces: a navigational perspective.

McCall, Roderick (2003) Designing and evaluating information spaces: a navigational perspective. PhD thesis, Edinburgh Napier University.

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Navigation in two and three dimensional electronic environments has become an important usability
issue.Research in to the use of hypertext systems would appear to suggest that people suffer from a
variety of navigational problems in these environments. In addition users also encounter problems in 3D
environments and in applications software. Therefore in order to enhance the ease of use from the point
of view of preventing errors and making it more pleasurable the navigating in information space
approach to HCI has been adopted.
The research presented in this thesis examines whether the study of real world environments, in particular
aspects of the built environment, urban planning and environmental psychology are beneficial in the
development of guidelines for interface design and evaluation. In doing so the thesis examines three main
research questions (1) is there a transfer of design knowledge from real to electronic spaces? (2) can
concepts be provided in a series of useful guidelines? (3) are the guidelines useful for the design and
evaluation of electronic spaces?
Based upon the results of the two main studies contained within this thesis it is argued that the
navigational perspective is one which is relevant to user interface design and evaluation and that
navigation in electronic spaces is comparable to but not identical with actions within the real world.
Moreover, the studies pointed to the validity of the core concepts when evaluating 2D and 3D spaces
and designing 3D spaces. The thesis also points to the relevancy of the overall design guidance in 2D
and 3D environments and the ability to make such information available through a software tool.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: navigation; electronic environments; hypertext systems; human-computer interaction; design knowledge; interface design;
University Divisions/Research Centres: Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries > School of Computing
Dewey Decimal Subjects: 000 Computer science, information & general works > 000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 005 Computer programming, programs & data > 005.4 Systems programming and programs > 005.43 Systems programs & operating systems > 005.437 User interfaces
Library of Congress Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Item ID: 3606
Depositing User: Mrs Lyn Gibson
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2010 14:56
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2011 04:54

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