Brian is a researcher and practising designer with a background in visual communications. Through postgraduate study undertaken from 2009–11 he developed an interest in, and a visual practice based on, walking maps. At present, through PhD study at Central Saint Martins in London, he is investigating the design of 'wayfinding interfaces' (i.e. digital maps) aimed at urban recreational walkers. This is combined with his role as a research associate at Glasgow School of Art's Institute of Design Innovation in Forres, Morayshire.
Tuesday 8 April: Information environments
From You are Here to I Could Be There: Investigating how novel information design approaches for GPS-enabled wayfinding interfaces can support situation awareness
EGPS-enabled mobile apps (i.e. digital maps) are now commonly used as wayfinding devices in urban locations. While these wayfinding interfaces provide increasingly accurate geographic and routing information, little attention has been paid to how novel information design approaches might improve user experience within particular use-contexts.
This talk will present an overview of Brian’s practice-based research, which focuses on how GPS-enabled wayfinding interfaces could be designed to allow urban recreational walkers to maintain a high level of situation awareness – that is, to maintain a high‐level of awareness relating to their embodied involvement in the surrounding environment – while using the interface.
First by outlining the findings that have emerged from a series of semi-structured interviews, urban recreational walkers’ perspectives relating to both their embodied walking practices and their use of technology will be revealed. From this, it will be demonstrated that those who prioritise ‘seeing’ and ‘wandering’ while they walk also prioritise interactions with their surrounding environment over a wayfinding interface.
The talk will also provide an outline of how novel information design approaches to wayfinding interfaces for urban recreational walkers will be developed through a program of iterative design experiments. Here, it will be explained that through abductive reasoning (i.e. open hypothesising) effective information design approaches are to be selected and then reapplied in prototypes of increasing granularity.
In conclusion, a theory for design, linking situation awareness with wayfinding design for recreation, will be identified and contextualised as the anticipated outcome of the research enquiry.