Development of Visual Display and Navigation for Small Screens Based on User Behaviour and Personalisation

Topics: Mobile device, Mobile phone, Personal digital assistant Pages: 14 (4381 words) Published: December 4, 2012
Development of Visual Display and Navigation for Small Screens based on User Behaviour and Personalisation.

Mike Wilman, Southampton Solent University UK,

Deborah Wilson, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton & The Talking Walls UK,


The intention of this paper is to present an application that is being developed for small screen devices in which a user can personalise content to suit their interests and learning preference. The Talking Walls® is an adaptable multimedia template application for heritage sites, museums or historical buildings. Users are able to visually explore and navigate where they are visiting via a mobile phone / handheld device, or a kiosk / DVD and online, learning about the history of a specific place / space / object, and how this has changed over time. This research explores the behavioral factors affecting how children and adults want to use hardware and software to navigate their way around content and the space. The KubeMatrix™ holds the information and material together as a content tool. This is a unique concept; it acts as a navigational tool, representing time and space, content and links in a 4-dimensional cube matrix structure, as the interface navigating through the content and enables the user to choose age range and content. Users are able to track their progress, with the KubeMatrix™ indicating the “areas” visited and the routes taken.


user-generated content; mobile devices; navigation; multimedia; heritage.


The increasing competitiveness of the global tourism industry demands that heritage sites / museums continually seek to add value to attract visitors and the handheld / PDA tour would appear to be a major key in providing this added value. With examples such as the handheld multimedia tour at the Tate Modern and the Natural History Museum (BARRY 2005-6) consumer use of handheld devices is increasing. The development of content for these devices is an area that is of increasing importance to both the designer/creator and the consumer. It is not enough to re-purpose content already provided in other media forms, the screen size dictates new form and new content to be designed specifically for the small screen (Moll 2005).

Children are also very important in the way the content is developed, they have/are growing up with not just computers but mobile devices and social networking, the anytime, anyplace, anywhere ‘Martini’ generation (Ranchhod 2007). They will be the market segment that is likely to know exactly what they would like on their mobile devices, how they would like to learn and what is likely to keep them using the devices for more than just communication. Although, according to cell phone tracking company M:Metrics (PR.Newswire 2007) statistics show that 77% of people aged 55-64 have mobile phones. Where it might have been assumed that this technology would only appeal to the younger generation, these figures show that this may not be the only market to design for. The 55–64 age range may have more in the way of a disposable income, combined with possibly less responsibilities and more time to explore their cultural heritage, which would also make them a quite important sector to consider (Petrecca 2007).

In the design process, consideration for the type of device (mobile or PDA), how it will be used (touch screen or keypad), and how the content is delivered (wireless, RFID or storage cards) will hugely affect consumer acceptance of the content and the technology involved. If any part of the exploration process or use of the device and /or content lacks an intuitive approach the consumer is likely to falter and have an incomplete or bad experience, resulting in a reluctance to use it again (Braiterman and Becker 2008).

The questions that have arisen when talking with managers / owners of...
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