Understanding the effect of the combination of navigation tools in learning spatial knowledge

Sanorita Dey, Wai Tat Fu, Karrie Karahalios

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Spatial knowledge about the environment often helps people accomplish their navigation and wayfinding tasks more efficiently. Off-The-shelf mobile navigation applications often focus on guiding people to go between two locations, ignoring the importance of learning spatial knowledge. Drawing on theories and findings from the area of learning spatial knowledge, we investigated how the background reference frames (RF) and navigational cues can be combined in navigation applications to help people acquire better spatial (route and survey) knowledge. We conducted two user studies, where participants used our custom-designed applications to navigate in an indoor location. We found that having more navigational cues in a navigation application does not always assist users in acquiring better spatial knowledge; rather, these cues can be distracting in some specific setups. Users can acquire better spatial knowledge only when the navigational cues complement each other in the interface design. We discussed the implications of designing navigation interfaces that can assist users in learning spatial knowledge by combining navigational elements in a complimentary way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - SUI 2019
Subtitle of host publicationACM Conference on Spatial User Interaction
EditorsStephen N. Spencer
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781450369756
StatePublished - Oct 19 2019
Event7th ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction, SUI 2019 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Oct 19 2019Oct 20 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - SUI 2019: ACM Conference on Spatial User Interaction


Conference7th ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction, SUI 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans


  • Allocentric and egocentric encoding
  • Frame of references
  • Interface design
  • Navigational cues
  • Spatial learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction


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