Entry of Destinations into Route Guidance Systems:
A Human Factors Evaluation
(UMTRI-93-4)

Gretchen Paelke and Paul Green

December, 1993

This research examined four touchscreen methods for entering a destination into a route guidance system. Three of the interfaces were character entry-based, including 1) a method using a sequence of two buttons for each alphanumeric entry (referred to as doublepress), 2) a Qwerty-style keypad layout, and 3) a Phone-based keypad where letters were entered using their corresponding number key. The fourth interface provided an alphabetic list through which a user scrolled to select a city or street name.

Sixteen subjects used each of the interfaces to enter destinations in a laboratory experiment while "parked" and while driving a simulator. The entry methods were evaluated based on entry time, driving performance, errors, preferences, and perceived difficulty. Overall, address entry times were shortest for the phonepad (43 seconds) and Qwerty (45 seconds) methods, followed by the scrolling list (56 seconds) and doublepress (75 seconds) methods. Entry time was significantly affected by driver age, with older drivers taking about 20 percent more time. Driving performance (deviation of lane position) was significantly worse when entering a destination as compared with baseline driving performance. Participants rated the difficulty of destination entry only slightly greater than that of conventional driving tasks. According to the subjective data, there was no preferred entry method.

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