Designing guidance along audio-haptically augmented paths in a city environment

Research output: ThesisLicentiate Thesis


The main purpose of this thesis is to show in a case study how it is possible to inform, with Activity Theory, the design and evaluation of a pedestrian navigation system that uses audio-tactile feedback.
The case study consists of an iterative design process that results in a tourist guide application used in a mobile phone. The interaction with the user is mostly through the audio and haptic modalities. The mobile phone is used as a scanning device and guides the user by means of vibrations. An auditory ambiance and recorded speech information also enriched the augmented reality experience. The tourist guide was evaluated in the real context of its use. This interaction proved to be an unobtrusive way to guide tourists to points of interest in the city.
During the evaluation, several tools from the framework of Activity Theory were used. The evaluation benefited from the following: the Activity Checklist, the Activity Diamond, the hierarchical structure of activity and the extended activity framework.
Activity Theory was chosen so that more than just the interaction between the user and the device/technology would be included in the evaluation. Other elements of the artifactual and natural environment were also taken into account, as well as the human environment, the object of the user’s activity and the user’s motive. Activity Theory provides a solid theoretical background when analyzing the subject’s behavior toward the technology, offering a better understanding as to how it is possible to improve the mediating technology.
Other important factors for the design process have also been identified and are discussed as well.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics


  • Activity theory, Cultural historical, design, evaluation, iterative design, user-centered design, audio-tactile, multimodal, mobile, pedestrian navigation, scanning, tourist guide, vibration, in-use, focus, environment
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
Print ISBNs978-91-7473-216-0
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch

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Related research output

Delphine Szymczak, Kirsten Rassmus-Gröhn, Charlotte Magnusson & Per-Olof Hedvall, 2012, Proceedings of the 14th international conference on Human-computer interaction with mobile devices and services. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), p. 335-344 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding

Charlotte Magnusson, Kirsten Rassmus-Gröhn & Delphine Szymczak, 2010, observing the mobile user experience, Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop. Held in Conjunction with NordiCHI.. p. 1-4 4 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding

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Related projects

Björn Breidegard, Charlotte Magnusson, Delphine Szymczak, Håkan Eftring, Kirsten Rassmus-Gröhn, Per-Olof Hedvall, Andreas Larsson, Konrad Tollmar, Miguel Molina, Hanna Stigmar & Anders Warell

Swedish Government Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova), European Commission - FP7


Project: Research

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