Suitability of tangible and touch for ship navigation
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Tangible User Interfaces and Touch interfaces have become increasingly popular as ways of providing direct coupling between the user and the interface, but how suited are these input methods for ship navigation? This thesis investigates the possible differences in workload, user experience and visual gaze when using tangible and touch controls on a tabletop display for the purpose of ship navigation. An experimental study using within-subject design was conducted. 21 experienced navigators participated by navigating a ship in a simulator environment, using tangible and touch controls. To empirically test the two controls, three methods of data collection were implemented. 1) NASA R-TLX measuring subjective workload. 2) User Experience Questionnaire (UEQ) measuring User Quality, User Design and Attractiveness. 3) Video recordings to establish where the participants were looking (Visual Gaze) during navigation. The data was analyzed as paired t-tests. Findings indicate that the tangible controls are more suitable for ship navigation than the touch controls. Workload was perceived as higher with the touch controls. User experience was rated higher with the use of tangible controls, and it was found that the participants spent far more time looking at the interface during navigation with touch control compared to tangible control, which required less visual attention.