, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 619–641

Controllability matters: The user experience of adaptive maps

  • Peter Kiefer
  • Ioannis Giannopoulos
  • Vasileios Athanasios Anagnostopoulos
  • Johannes Schöning
  • Martin Raubal

DOI: 10.1007/s10707-016-0282-x

Cite this article as:
Kiefer, P., Giannopoulos, I., Athanasios Anagnostopoulos, V. et al. Geoinformatica (2017) 21: 619. doi:10.1007/s10707-016-0282-x


Adaptive map interfaces have the potential of increasing usability by providing more task dependent and personalized support. It is unclear, however, how map adaptation must be designed to avoid a loss of control, transparency, and predictability. This article investigates the user experience of adaptive map interfaces in the context of gaze-based activity recognition. In a Wizard of Oz experiment we study two adaptive map interfaces differing in the degree of controllability and compare them to a non-adaptive map interface. Adaptive interfaces were found to cause higher user experience and lower perceived cognitive workload than the non-adaptive interface. Among the adaptive interfaces, users clearly preferred the condition with higher controllability. Results from structured interviews reveal that participants dislike being interrupted in their spatial cognitive processes by a sudden adaptation of the map content. Our results suggest that adaptive map interfaces should provide their users with control at what time an adaptation will be performed.


Map adaptation User experience Activity recognition Maps 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Swiss National Science Foundation
  • 200021_162886

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Cartography and Geoinformation, ETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Faculty 03: Mathematics / Computer ScienceUniversität BremenBremenGermany

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