Engaging map visualization through Emotional Design

University essay from Mälardalens högskola/Innovation och produktrealisering

Abstract: Gustav Vasa association, among other things, works to inform the public about Strängnäs interesting background about Swedish history and cultural heritage. Their purpose is to promote Strängnäs as an interesting travel destination to visit and teach visitors about Swedish history during the 15th to 17th century specifically. Their objective is to promote and deliver this information through interactive and innovative platforms in order to attract a younger target group, but also to engage the user’s interaction. This research contains the strategies and methods needed in order to create a digitally interactive and cultural map of Strängnäs, that would achieve both visual engaging and guiding purposes. Under this research, multiple methodologies were performed in order to get a more in-depth knowledge about the Swedish domestic traveller needs, preferences, motivations and behaviours before and while leisure traveling. In addition to that, theories from emotional design, rhetorical, storytelling and cartographic visual techniques among others, are presented to give this thesis a base to visually engage and guide the users. The data collection methods used in this research has been both as observations, interviews with Gustav Vasa association, tourist centres in Eskilstuna, Västerås and Strängnäs and with the target group, with the purpose of gather data relevant as this research´s basis. Along with these, user testing methods such as A/B testing, think aloud and usability testing were conducted as to evaluate the resulting design concepts from the data collection methods. This thesis resulted in that a combination of both emotional and rhetorical theories, and both flat and skeuomorphic design styles, created an engaging and persuading visual content. This concluding in making users want to interact with the map´s visual and textual context within the map´s digital interaction. The use of visual concepts that could be associated by a both visceral and reflective level of design (Norman, 2005) concluded in a stronger engaging response from the users, as well as, the use of visual rhetorical theories within the map´s visual content. Finally, the use of storytelling techniques both in visual and textual context lured the user to interact with the information provided by the design. 

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