Using eye-tracking and mouse metrics to test usability of web mapping navigation

Steven M. Manson, Len Kne, Kevin R. Dyke, Jerry Shannon, Sami Eria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The growth of web-based mapping is transforming geovisualization. Use of web mapping has become ubiquitous throughout much of the world and has sparked greater public interest in GIS and mapping. Despite the rapid growth of web mapping, there has been relatively little study of the design and usability of web maps. Moreover, the design and function of popular web mapping programs are sometimes at odds with standard GIS and cartographic practices for even the simplest of functions such as zooming into a feature of interest. This study advances understanding of web mapping design via web usability testing based on mouse metrics and eye tracking technology to assess the utility of four different web map navigation schemes: pan zoom; double clicking; zoom by rectangle; and wheel zoom. We found significant differences among the various interfaces, with marked preference for the standard GIS approach of rectangle zoom, followed closely by wheel zoom. Far fewer users preferred the web mapping standard of pan zoom or click zoom. In addition to finding significant differences in usability among these approaches, this work illustrates the broader utility of usability testing and eye tracking technology for creating a better web mapping experience for users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-60
Number of pages13
JournalCartography and Geographic Information Science
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Fingerprint

navigation
Geographical Information System
Navigation
Geographic information systems
public interest
GIS
Wheels
test
World Wide Web
Usability
Mouse
experience
Testing

Keywords

  • Eye tracking
  • Geographic information science
  • Usability
  • Web mapping

Cite this

Using eye-tracking and mouse metrics to test usability of web mapping navigation. / Manson, Steven M.; Kne, Len; Dyke, Kevin R.; Shannon, Jerry; Eria, Sami.

In: Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Vol. 39, No. 1, 01.01.2012, p. 48-60.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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