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Title: The user experience of historical world maps in web-based systems. A selection of fifteenth-century world maps of Afro-Eurasia as a showcase
Authors: Liu, Danyun
Keywords: Visual arts and music::Design
Visual arts and music::Media
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Liu, D. (2021). The user experience of historical world maps in web-based systems. A selection of fifteenth-century world maps of Afro-Eurasia as a showcase. Doctoral thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: There are an increasing number of historical world maps online engaging users in virtual museums and libraries. Online access and use of digitised maps allow users from all over the world to deal with different world maps simultaneously. Yet, there is a dearth of research concerning enhancing the user experience of scholarly users and casual users who access online resources to find better solutions to traditional questions and generate new insights. Driven by the research gaps, the two following research questions were identified. 1. What are the underlying influencing factors, and how do they correlate with the quality of the user experience in web-based historical world maps? 2. What design recommendations would improve the user experience in web-based systems for historical world maps? This research addressed the first research question by studying relevant academic publications on user needs and behaviours related to historical world maps online. This literature review was followed and complemented by the review of how digital history applied information visualisation techniques in general and to world maps in particular. By examining the application of information visualisation technologies to the fifteenth-century world maps of Afro-Eurasia selected as a practice and case study, interactivity emerged as a significant leap in current web systems to enhance the user experience. Thus, based on both literature and web reviews, this research developed a conceptual model and proposed twelve hypotheses highlighting six influencing factors and their correlations. The second research question was approached through a qualitative online survey to evaluate and test the conceptual model and the research hypotheses. The findings were interpreted using a statistical data analysis procedure. This process validated the six influencing factors and their correlations to user satisfaction and cognition. This research provided further information for the design recommendations to shed light on the quality and satisfaction of user experience in historical world maps websites. Therefore, based on theory and practice, this research contributes to designing the user experience of web-based systems for the publication of historical world maps through interactive information visualisation. These recommendations define a new way of accessing, decoding, and studying knowledge as aggregated in historical maps, generating new insights into digital history. This research has been tested and applied using the framework of the interactive online system Engineering Historical Memory (EHM) funded and directed by the supervisor of this PhD, Dr Andrea Nanetti. The PhD candidate developed an application titled Information Visualisation for Digital History, on which are based the visualisation tools used in all EHM applications. In 2021, in the category ‘Resources for Scholars and Researchers’, EHM was among the winners of the GLAMi Awards (MuseWeb Conference-Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums Innovation awards), which annually recognises and celebrates innovative projects in the cultural heritage sector.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/155546
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:ADM Theses

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