Informing the design of mobile wayfinding software for users with acquired brain injury

Date

2012-08-28

Authors

Kuipers, Nathanael

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Abstract

Wayfinding is the process of determining and following a route. Survivors of acquired brain injury (ABI) may evince impaired wayfinding skills. Mobile technology offers a promising avenue for wayfinding support, but software is seldom designed for users with cognitive impairments. This research was intended to inform the design of mobile wayfinding software for survivors of ABI. Two qualitative studies were conducted to investigate wayfinding by survivors of ABI, and solicit views on a prospective mobile wayfinding aide. Data were used to generate a substantive theory of wayfinding in ABI. Participants were generally enthused by the prospect of a mobile wayfinding aide. They felt that it would be useful and bolster confidence, leading to improved community access. In conjunction with the theory and its implications, their remarks on usage and design indicate that mobile wayfinding software should: provide a simple interface; be context aware; afford an interactive user experience; integrate with calendar software; deliver [audio] notifications; and emphasize landmarks while affording map access.

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Keywords

wayfinding, acquired brain injury, software design, requirements gathering

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