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To twist or poke? A method for identifying usability issues with the rotary controller and touch screen for control of in-vehicle information systems

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In-vehicle information systems (IVIS) can be controlled by the user via direct or indirect input devices. In order to develop the next generation of usable IVIS, designers need to be able to evaluate and understand the usability issues associated with these two input types. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a set of empirical usability evaluation methods for identifying important usability issues and distinguishing between the IVIS input devices. A number of usability issues were identified and their causal factors have been explored. These were related to the input type, the structure of the menu/tasks and hardware issues. In particular, the translation between inputs and on-screen actions and a lack of visual feedback for menu navigation resulted in lower levels of usability for the indirect device. This information will be useful in informing the design of new IVIS, with improved usability.

Statement of Relevance: This paper examines the use of empirical methods for distinguishing between direct and indirect IVIS input devices and identifying usability issues. Results have shown that the characteristics of indirect input devices produce more serious usability issues, compared with direct devices and can have a negative effect on the driver–vehicle interaction.
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Keywords: evaluation; in-vehicle information systems; interaction; usability

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Transportation Research Group, Faculty of Engineering and Environment,University of Southampton, UK 2: Jaguar and Land Rover Technical Research, Jaguar Cars, Engineering Centre, WhitleyCoventry, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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