University of Twente Student Theses


Usability of Eye Tracking as a User Research Technique in Geo-information Processing and Dissemination

Razeghi, Rozita (2010) Usability of Eye Tracking as a User Research Technique in Geo-information Processing and Dissemination.

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Abstract:different fields of science are growing fast, and the advancement of technology as a tool, accelerated this speed. Technological advances in the geo-domains, like other disciplines had a great role in development of geo-information science, and every day newer systems and techniques of geo-spatial data processing and dissemination are assessed. One of newly considered and essential aspects in evaluating the technology is the usability of the products, as well as methods and techniques for doing use and user research in different disciplines including geo-information processing and dissemination, and eye tracking (ET) is one of this techniques. It records the focus points of a person while they see e.g. an interface. The main potential of ET in preference to other user techniques is to reveal hidden cognitive processes of human behaviours; however, there are some essential objections to ET, e.g. it cannot say anything about why users are looking at some object. Taking into consideration the costbenefit perspective, the usability of the technique as a whole, needs more investigation which is the main objective for this thesis. For this purpose and in order to get a general overview regarding the usability of ET with different systems, we designed 2 case studies with 2 main types of ET systems (mobile and stationed). Also, in order to assess the effects of the thinking aloud technique on ET (which can compensate for the objection of ‘why users are looking at some object’) and to find out the most resultful combinations of these techniques, we applied 2 homogeneous user groups with different methods of usability in each case study. These combinations were the use of ET alone and ET with thinking aloud (together with other user techniques). The first case study, assess the usability of ET in providing a methodology for selecting salient landmarks in the analyze requirements phase of a pedestrian navigation system. Using different methods, users were asked to navigate on a predefined path and find a destination, while their gaze data were recorded. Likewise, the second case study deals with evaluating the usability of ET in providing a methodology in the produce designs solutions phase of a geo-web application which is a prototype for visualizing iceberg data. Depending on their groups, users were asked to find the answer to some questions regarding the icebergs using the application, and to apply TA or not. During the design, data collection and analysis of these 2 case studies, some issues related to calibration, data clustering, analysis and interpretation were discovered and discussed. Also, the 2 applied methodologies in each case study were discussed and compared against each other regarding the main variables of usability testing which are efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction. The results of the first case study showed that ET indeed can provides information about ‘human cognitive aspects’ in selecting salient Landmarks. Also, using the combination of ET and TA proved to be more informative for this application. Unfortunately, due to some technical problems, the data of the second case study were not analysed properly to provide certain results; however, the combination of ET and TA was recognized to be more informative for this case study.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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