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Understanding and modelling built environments for mobile guide interface design

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The research presented in this paper aims to inform interface design for mobile guides by understanding and modelling the built environments in which the guide will be used. This is important because research into the use of mobile guides has shown that people have a strong ability to make sense of the physical space in which they are situated and make use of this when using mobile guides. Based on a field study and architectural analysis of the recently built Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia, we present a descriptive framework, MIRANDA, which provides a summarized abstraction of the fundamental architectural and informational features of a built environment. The use of this descriptive framework in HCI design for mobile guides is exemplified through the design of a mobile guide system for Federation Square that was informed by the identified architectural characteristics. On the basis of the field study and example design, we argue that mobile guides interface design can benefit from making use of 'knowledge-in-the-world' by streamlining and indexing information and functionality to physical information cues implicit in the built environment surrounding the user.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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