Nowadays the web map (E-map) is an indispensable wayfinding tool in the Internet-based society. However, its usability will vary with a different navigational technique or input device. The navigational techniques currently adopted by various web maps were investigated and analyzed. Moreover, two input devices, i.e., the mouse and the touch screen, were operated in four navigational techniques to study the differences in their functions and performances. Later, the research findings were utilized to develop a new navigational technique. The research was divided into two stages. During the first stage, all the navigational techniques in current use were investigated and compared. Then, based on the results of analysis, the enhanced navigator with continuous control (ENCC) was designed. During the second stage, the searching and browsing techniques of different web maps were simulated. Afterwards, the mouse and the touch screen were employed separately to conduct simulation tests in the following navigational techniques: (1) combined panning buttons (CPB), (2) distributed panning buttons (DPB), (3) ENCC, and (4) G&D. A total of 36 participants took part in the trials. At the end of the experiment, the operational performances of the participants were studied through the two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA); besides, the subjective evaluation questionnaires were answered. It was discovered that the mouse did better than the touch screen in the four navigational techniques. Besides, among the four techniques, ENCC showed the best performance. Capable of continuous control and continuous display, the ENCC interface was upgraded in terms of operational speed and directional control. The findings can be used as a reference in the design of web maps. Also, it is suggested that ENCC should be widely applied to touch screens and mice so that the navigation of information space may be facilitated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Hardware and Architecture
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering