Overcoming challenges in developing more usable pedestrian navigation systems

Ioannis Delikostidis*, C.P.J.M. van Elzakker, M.J. Kraak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


This article presents an overview of a research project focusing on improving the usability of pedestrian navigation systems by following a User-Centered Design (UCD) approach. One of the main problems with those systems is how to adequately support and enhance the spatial interactions of a traveler to new urban areas, which is crucial for successful self-orienting and wayfinding. The methodology employed allows for conceptualizing, implementing and evaluating research prototypes that aim to satisfy the special user requirements. Outlined in this article are the techniques designed and integrated in the developed prototype, the methods used for their evaluation through field-based studies and the challenges encountered during this process. New techniques with a measurable impact on the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction of navigation were tested and found to dramatically enhance the sense of personal geo-identification in new places. Examples of those techniques are landmark visibility indication, multi-path routing based on time availability, multi-perspective landmark photos and reverse overview + detail maps. Overall, the outcomes of this research verify the capacity of UCD to help overcoming current usability issues with pedestrian navigation systems. By demonstrating an effective UCD methodology and discussing the lessons learned, we intend to aid the development of next generation navigation appliances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-207
Number of pages19
JournalCartography and geographic information science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2016


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