The guide system and what the tourists thought
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The GUIDE System (and what the tourists thought). Keith Cheverst Distributed Multimedia Research Group Lancaster University Background…. What ‘useful’ interactive system could we build using…

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The GUIDE System (and what the tourists thought)

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The guide system and what the tourists thought

The GUIDE System(and what the tourists thought)

Keith Cheverst

Distributed Multimedia Research Group

Lancaster University



  • What ‘useful’ interactive system could we build using…

    • Mobile Computing / Wireless connectivity

      • Access to dynamic information

      • Remote services

    • Context-Awareness

      • Personal

      • Environment

      • Device

The guide project

The GUIDE Project…

  • Investigate issues re. the development of mobile context-aware systems

    • Developed to overcome limitations of traditional information/navigation tools

      • Group-based guides

        • Inherently inflexible, fixed start-times durations etc

        • Satisfy interests of the majority rather than the specific interests of individuals

      • Guide books

        • Can contain out of date information etc

Guide requirements

GUIDE Requirements…

  • Requirements Capture (Lancaster TIC)

    • Observing information needs of visitors

    • Semi-structured one-to-one interviews with TIC staff

  • Four main requirements

    • Flexibility

    • Present Tailored Information

    • Support for dynamic information

    • Support for interactive services

  • Comms location infrastructure

    Comms/Location Infrastructure

    Infrastructure continued

    Infrastructure Continued…

    Welcome to guide

    Welcome to GUIDE…

    Accessing information

    Accessing Information…

    Position dependent info

    Position Dependent Info…

    Viewing nearby attractions

    Viewing Nearby Attractions…

    Viewing a local map

    Viewing a Local Map…

    Interactive services

    Interactive Services…



    Picking a tour

    Picking a Tour…

    Following a tour 1

    Following a Tour (1)…

    Following a tour 2

    Following a Tour (2)…

    The information model

    The Information Model…

    • Represents various information types

      • Geographic, hypertext and active components

    Guide the movie

    GUIDE (the movie)…

    Implications of disconnection

    Implications of Disconnection…

    • GUIDE units can loose network connectivity

    • Certain functionality becomes unavailable

      • Location Information, Messaging Service etc

    • Trust/reliability of information is an issue

      • No reception of dynamic information

      • No access to those parts of the information model that are not currently cached

        • e.g. remote web pages

      • Information can become out-of-date

    Mobile awareness

    Mobile Awareness…

    • Encourage an understanding for the role of connectivity

      • Reduce apparent anomalies in behaviour that could affect a visitor’s trust

      • Utilises understanding of the mobile phone

        • Bars of connectivity metaphor

        • Awareness rather than intrusive

      • What about visitor’s location…

    Solving location problems a guide and visitor partnership

    Solving Location Problems: A GUIDE and Visitor Partnership

    Finding the visitor

    Finding the Visitor…

    Selecting from list

    Selecting from List…

    Selecting from thumbnails

    Selecting from Thumbnails…

    Found again

    Found Again…



    • Expert walkthrough

      • 1st pass at usability

        • Resolved a number of User Interface issues

        • Highlighted need to avoid over-determining the user

    • Field Trial

      • What the public actually think

      • Ascertain quality of visitor’s experience

      • Determine the implications of our approach

        • Would users trust the system?

        • Granularity of location information?

        • What about the role connectivity?

    Field trial

    Age Profile



    Web Experience























    Field Trial…

    • Sixty visitors over 5 weeks

    • Usage period between 10 minutes and 1 hour

      • Concern not to impinge on visitor’s holiday!

    Key findings

    Key Findings ….

    • In general, visitors enjoyed using the system…

    • Visitors appreciated location-awareness

      • Found location-aware navigation reassuring

      • Information Retrieval (when not over constrained)

    • Visitors trust of the system was dynamic

      • Level increased when shown detailed and accurate descriptions e.g. ‘watch the step when leaving the path’

      • Level decreased when information could not be retrieved or appeared inaccurate/incorrect

    Key findings continued

    Key Findings Continued…

    • Majority of visitors appreciated system’s flexibility

      • However, some were of the opinion ‘Less is More’

    • 45/60 accepted the portable end-system

    • Interactive Services…

      • Less enthusiastic than expected

      • 48/60 visitors wanted conformation of bookings

    • Visitors in 10-20 age group…

      • Revelled in the technology

      • Explored twice as many links per minute as other groups

    • Visitor’s awareness…

      • Appreciated role of connectivity

      • Accepted the mobile phone analogy

    The role of context

    The Role of Context…

    • Maximising the limited User Interface bandwidth between the device and the user

    • Enabling the simplification/reduction of the user’s task specification

      • What locations are nearby?

      • Creating a suitable/tailored tour

      • Need to be careful of not overly constraining the information available to the visitor

        • The trade-off between prescription and freedom

    The role of context continued

    The Role of Context Continued…

    • Tailoring/Adapting Presented Information

      • Ordering of lists, e.g. nearby attractions

      • Constraining content, e.g. based on proximity

      • Tailoring descriptions

        • Information(1)

          • Lancaster Priory built in 1434 A.D. and the architect was Donald Samson.

        • Information(2)

          • Lancaster Priory built in 1434 A.D. and the architect was Donald Samson. This architect also designed the extension to York Cathedral which you visited on 12th January 1998.

      • Issues of predictability

    Future for guide 1

    Future for GUIDE (1)

    • Supplement communications infrastructure with micro-cellular system, e.g. bluetooth

      • Communication within buildings

      • Finer granularity of positioning info

      • Reduced power consumption

    • Integration of GPS

      • Could obtain location based on…

        • Based on querying user

        • Based on reception of location updates

        • Based on (D)GPS

    Future for guide 2

    Future for GUIDE (2)

    • Extend the range of context-sensitive interactive services for city residents

      • Automatically ordering a taxi

      • Requesting the location of nearest cash point

      • Support for ad hoc meetings

    • Utilise personal end-systems,

      • Users personal WAP phone or PDA

      • Persistence of user’s profile

        • Constant learning/building of user’s profile

    Concluding remarks

    Concluding Remarks…

    • Is context (e.g. position) used to good effect in GUIDE ?

      • Context used to reduce the complexity of a user’s task specification

      • Context also increased the the quality/relevance of information presented to the user

      • The users interaction is affected by…

        • UI, context and infrastructure

      • Designers need to carefully consider

        • Appropriate styles of interaction (metaphors, feedback, etc.)

        • How to avoid over-determining the user based on context

    Contact information

    Contact Information…


    Recent GUIDE Papers:

    • Developing a Context-aware Electronic Tourist Guide: Some Issues and Experiences(CHI2000)

    • The Role of Connectivity in Supporting Context-Sensitive Applications(HUC’99)

    • The Design of an Object Model for a Context-Sensitive Tourist Guide (Computers & Graphics Journal Vol 23. No 6. Dec 1999)

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