Explorative Design of an Indoor Positioning based Mobile Application for Workplaces : To ease workflow management while investigating any privacy concerns in sharing one’s location data indoors

University essay from KTH/Medieteknik och interaktionsdesign, MID


This thesis elaborates on the design process of a mobile phone based application for indoor positioning at workplaces. The aim of the application is to ease workflow management and help increase the work efficiency of individuals and teams by reducing the amount of time spent in looking and waiting for each other. In doing so, the research takes a closer look on the user’s perspective on sharing one’s location data. An attempt is made to explore users’ behavior, investigating if any privacy concerns arise out of sharing one’s indoor location data and how it effects the adoption of the service within the context of a workspace. This exploratory approach employed a number of qualitative tools in order to gather data and analyze it.

In order to understand the complex context of a work environment where activities (or actions) are defined by a number of factors, actors, mediators, communication channels, etc., the research followed an activity centred approach. The resulting solution is in the form of a service that provides layers of contextual information, responding to the overall activity being performed and the smaller actions that constitute it. A prototype of this application is then taken for user testing. The test results show that the users were hesitant in sharing their location data; citing a number of speculated scenarios where this information may be used in ways that induced a sense of being spied upon. However, in the overall acceptance and adoption of the system, the context of use (the workspace) was found to play a very crucial role.

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