Thesis Pending #3: What am I actually doing? | Summary and Q&A

April 14, 2017
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Thesis Pending #3: What am I actually doing?


Research focuses on designing smartphone maps based on video game map designs and the use of landmarks for navigation.

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Key Insights

  • 🍁 Ordnance Survey maps fund the research on designing smartphone maps.
  • 👨‍🔬 The research aims to improve the usability and effectiveness of maps on smartphone screens.
  • 🍁 Landmarks and natural navigation cues are important considerations in designing effective smartphone maps.
  • 🍁 Video game maps provide inspiration for creating non-intrusive and practical smartphone map designs.
  • 🍁 Initial feedback suggests that the new map design is beneficial for individuals who struggle with traditional map reading.
  • 😒 The researcher uses photography and a compass to validate participants' understanding of their location on the map.
  • 🍁 The potential implementation of the smartphone map design by Ordnance Survey maps may require crowd-sourcing for landmark information.


well welcome back to thesis pending the weekly vlog series where I talk about how I haven't gotten any work done so it was kind of to be expected this week I was at VidCon last weekend if you're interested in how that was I've made a video about it I'll put a thing that and after getting back from VidCon on very late on Monday night I had the confl... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the researcher's main research topic?

The researcher is focused on designing smartphone maps and exploring how to adapt map conventions from paper maps to digital platforms.

Q: Why is the use of landmarks important in navigation?

Landmarks are found to be more useful for navigation than distance measurements provided by GPS or sat-nav systems. Humans are generally better at judging landmarks and using them as reference points.

Q: How do video games influence the design of smartphone maps?

Video game maps, with their small, non-intrusive mini-maps, inspire the researcher in creating smartphone maps that are simultaneously useful for navigation while not obstructing the main screen.

Q: What has been the initial feedback from study participants?

Study participants who struggled with traditional map reading found the new smartphone map design helpful. However, some individuals who were already accustomed to traditional maps expressed resistance to change.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The vlog discusses the weekly progress of the researcher's work in designing maps for smartphones, funded by the Ordnance Survey maps.

  • The research aims to explore how to effectively present map information on a smaller screen and utilize natural navigation cues, such as landmarks.

  • The researcher draws inspiration from video game maps and is testing usability with study participants.

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