Human Factors in Intelligent Transportation Systems

By Woodrow Barfield; Thomas A. Dingus | Go to book overview

lating the touchscreen with the finger, we recommended changes to the way that information was accessed from the touchscreen, such as having the user touch an area label to access a list of ramps, and displaying the list until a specific ramp was selected with a subsequent touch.

We also recommended the addition of labels to indicate geographic direction (N, S, E, and W) and the direction of open express lanes, and a gray indicator to designate closed areas of the express lanes. Further improvements included changing the background color of the trip information window to gray and placing travel time as the first item in the trip window display. We noted that documentation should be included with TR in the form of brief instructions, and ramp reference guides should be organized alphabetically by ramp (instead of area). We further recommended that the zoom feature be eliminated during the trial period.


CONCLUSION

Usability research is crucial to the ease by which people can use a system, the application of the system in their daily lives, and the acceptance the system will have as an information source. To have the most impact on the usability of a system, research should be incorporated into the early phases of the development process and continue as iterative testing during the remainder of the development process.

Usability research can contribute to the development process in five ways: It can (a) inform the design process about the people who ultimately will use the system in their daily lives, including their tasks, goals, background, environment, and culture; (b) validate assumptions about users' preferences in design and requirements for documentation; (c) confirm good design decisions so that developers can guard against inadvertently changing those decisions and so can capitalize on those ideas in future developments; (d) expose unexpected weaknesses in the user interface of which the developers may be unaware of because of their familiarity with the product; and (e) resolve uncertainties when there are differing ideas within the team about the direction of the product or a feature.


REFERENCES

Agar M. H. ( 1986). Qualitative research methods series, Vol. 2. Speaking of ethnography. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Ahlgren A., & Walberg H. J. ( 1975). Generalized regression analysis. In D. J. Amick & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Introductory multivariate analysis (pp. 8-52). Berkeley, CA: McCutchan.

Babbie E. R. ( 1992). Survey research methods. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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