Evaluating and improving the user-interface of existing GIS-applications by the use of HCI evaluation techniques

University essay from KTH/Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC)

Author: Martin Andersen; [2015]

Keywords: HCI; GIS; NIS; Evaluation; Improvement;

Abstract: Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are large systems that handles, stores and manipulates geographical data. This report is based on the fact that GIS-applications, in general, tend to be quite complex and contain large quantities of data as well as lots of functionality. Because of this, it is a challenge to design a good user-interface for such applications and the ones who suffer from this are the users. Thereby, the motivation for this report is formed, which is about proposing improvements to a user-interface of existing GIS-applications in order to increase the users satisfaction with it. The GIS-applications that are the focus of this report are the applications of the company Digpro. The question that attempts to be answered in this project is: "What can be done to improve the user-interface of existing GIS-applications from a general HCI-perspective and from the perspective of the users?". The method for doing this is to research for theory about HCI, and also through interactions with the users. These interactions are done by using Query Evaluation Techniques in the form of interviews and questionnaires. By using the result of these Query Evaluation Techniques combined with the theory gotten from the research, a number of improvement ideas have been developed and presented as mock-ups and concept sketches. These ideas have been evaluated using Heuristic Evaluation and a final prototype has been developed. In the end, the final prototype is the result of this project. The prototype includes all, but one, of the improvement ideas and shows the interaction between the ideas and the already existing user-interface. Further, since the prototype has been developed with a lot of regard for the users opinions in order to increase their satisfaction with the user-interface, the results are very much in line with the motivation for this master thesis.

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