Browsing the information highway while driving: three in-vehicle touch screen scrolling methods and driver distraction
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Distraction effects of three alternative touch screen scrolling methods for searching music tracks on a mobile device were studied in a driving simulation experiment with 24 participants. Page-by-page scrolling methods with Buttons or Swipe that better facilitate resumption of visual search following interruptions were expected to lead to more consistent in-vehicle glance durations and thus on less severe distraction effects than Kinetic scrolling. As predicted, Kinetic scrolling induced decreased visual sampling efficiency and increased visual load compared with Swipe, increased experienced workload compared with both Buttons and Swipe, as well as decreased lane-keeping accuracy compared with baseline. However, Buttons did not significantly excel Kinetic with any metric but on subjective ratings. Based on the results, we do not recommend the use of kinetic scrolling with in-vehicle touch screen displays in the manner used in the experiment. Instead, page-by-page swiping seems to suit significantly better for in-vehicle displays due to its systematic nature and low levels of pointing accuracy required for scrolling the pages.
KeywordsDriver distraction In-vehicle information system Information search Touch screen Scrolling method Visual sampling Visual load Driving performance
The author wants to express gratitude especially to Mikko Nirhamo at Nokia for providing the valuable research topic as well as Juha Hämäläinen, Ilkka Kotilainen, Stefan Mayer, and Konstantin Käfer for their assistance in the experiments. This work was supported by research projects Theseus II and OPTIMUM funded by TEKES (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation). The driving simulation environment was developed by a grant from the Henry Ford Foundation.
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