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Location Aware Travel Guide: Refining Design via Paper Prototype
Mohammad Hafiz Ismail and Aznoora Osman
Faculty of Information Technology and Quantitative Sciences, Perlis mohammadhafiz@perlis.uitm.edu.my, aznoora@perlis.uitm.edu.my ABSTRACT Location aware travel guide is a mobile application that utilizes Location-Based Service (LBS) to assist travellers along their journey at a particular destination. The use of Location-Based Service (LBS) in tourism has been explored by other researchers such as in investigating the feasibility of Location-Based Service in tourism as well their effectiveness in enhancing user experience while travelling. Currently, there is no such application in Malaysia. Thus, the researchers are interested to explore the potential use of a mobile travel guide for travellers. When travellers arrive at new places, they would like to know information and locations about local amenities, places of interests, public transportation and restaurants. They would also like to know the directions to go to these places as well as the collective user reviews from previous experiences of other travellers. By using the application, it will be able to retrieve the coordinates of the user from satellites in the form of latitude and longitude. After that, it will be used to access important information related to the surrounding area. Hence, this application will help travellers to find directions and access information about a particular destination easily and accurately via their mobile device. This is a work-in-progress, thus

this paper will explain the activity that has been done during the design phase, which is mainly about user interface design. Then it will discuss the role of LBS in the application as well as the hardware and software platforms that have been selected to support the development phase. The results and discussion section will cover the findings from usability study of the user interface design.

Keywords: paper prototyping, usability-testing, mobile, GPS, rapid application development

1. INTRODUCTION With the advent of technology, mobile phone and PDA become ubiquitous in our daily lives, these devices are not only limited to making calls or receiving short-messages anymore, but also provide other information-based services and infrastructure (Kaasinen, 2002). For this reason, users particularly frequent travelers nowadays are less likely to plan ahead of a trip and prefer to make impromptu arrangement as they can access travelling information from the internet via their mobile devices (Pan & Crotts,2007). However the use of mobile device as an avenue to lookup travelling information is currently limited as users has to know a particular place of interest he want to visit in advance. as the device has no way of showing other places of interests near the user current location that might help the user to decide which place he should visit first (Schmidt-Belz, et al.,2003;Pan & Crotts,2007). Currently travelers and tourist has to rely on paper brochure or internet to provide them with information of the places they would like to visit. However the traditional method does not offer the flexibility they might need should their travel plans changed or if they make an unplanned trip to certain places. The traditional method requires them to be prepared ahead of time even before they start making the trip, leaving no room for the unexpected.
Paper number: 6415198

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The information provided by the traditional method is much harder to keep updated, exposing the traveler to inaccurate information regarding the point-of-interest that he want to visit. Furthermore, the method also does not offer customization and selection based on user preference as well as the advantage gained from the use of folksonomy-based system to give updated information regarding the place of interest that the traveler wishes to go (Schmidt-Belz, 2006). The goal of our project is to develop a prototype application which can serve as a mobile information kiosk to provide information to the traveler regarding places of interest, restaurants, public transportation and local amenities in his current location. The prototype should also be able to allow the user to provide his own input regarding the places that he has visited in order to help other visitors in their travel decisions. The scope of research is limited to selected area in the state of Perlis and Kedah.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW It is acknowledged in previous literature that the absent of credible and systematic user-review and rating system of places of interest would greatly affect travel decision made by users especially when he is on a tour. The lack of a rating system would lead user to choose a location or services such as hotels or restaurant that might not suitable for his needs and left a less than desirable impression of a particular place he currently visiting (Pan & Crotts, 2007; Mzila, et al. 2007). Location-Based Service or LBS, is the ability to find the geographical location of the mobile device and provide services based on the particular location information. Using this concept, services can now be offered based on location information extracted from mobile devices which are more relevant to the user from his point of view, thus adding more value to the mobile application (Tilson, et al., 2004; Prassad, 2007). There are five components that form the basis of Location-Base Service, which are mobile device, Communication Network, Positioning Component, Service and Application Provider and Content Provider (Steineger, et al. 2006). The location coordinate is extracted from mobile device using Positioning Component, which in turn utilizes GPS, A-GPS and cell tower id information to determined current location (Petrova, 2008; Voulodimos & Patrikakis, 2007). This location data, in forms of geographic coordinates is then fed to location-aware application to be processed. The application will then request the relevant information to be downloaded from the Content Provider which finally conveyed to the user. The process may use data transfer from Communication Network provider and may incur data charges (Voulodimos & Patrikakis, 2007). Having various ways of determining device location through Location-Based Service framework and the accessibility of this technology on technology-neutral platform would mean that the resulting application can be adopted widely on conforming device (Mahmoud, 2004;Hinz & Fiala, 2005). The use of Location-based service in tourism has been explored by Pan and Crotts (2007) and Schmidt-Belz,, et al (2003). Both works investigate the feasibility of Location-based service in tourism as well their effectiveness in enhancing user experience while travelling. While Pan and Crotts (2007) discusses that comments and ratings would help users to make decisions, both of the works does not enable the users to interact with the system in ways they can submit ratings and reviews when they visited a place to help future travelers make decision Furthermore, both works left the question of how much the location of interest and business information relayed to the user open, thus paving the path where our work will be focused upon.
Paper number: 6415198

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Usability test is a process of evaluating the degree to which a product or system meets specific usability criteria. The evaluation should be made by the participants who are representative of the target population (Rubin, 1994). In usability testing, the participants work on typical tasks using the system (or the prototype), and the evaluators use the results to see how the user interface supports the users to do their tasks (Zaphiris & Kurniawan, 2007). Prototypes can be used to test all aspects of usability for a system—what users will expect when they encounter parts of the system, how they will go about pursuing their goals, how they will respond to system feedback, and what subjective reactions they will have (Rosson and Carroll, 2002). The prototype that will be produced in the research will undergo a series of usability test to ensure the end product satisfies the needs of travellers. 3. METHODOLOGY In order to develop the prototype, we chose to follow the Rapid Application Development (RAD) technique. The first activity in this technique was designing the application. Since we wanted to iterate the design process quickly, we have also adapted the paper prototyping technique to create and test the design of the user interface for the application. This technique was chosen because it is fast and easy to create. The paper prototype version was used to conduct usability study with six participants. Then refinement was made to it and it guides the researcher in development work. It is easier to make refinement and modification to paper prototype than to the real application due to the complexity of its programming. Furthermore, creating the right design before actual development is a part of activities in user-centred design. However, we would like to emphasize that the technique was useful only in designing the layout of the content, devising the navigation from one interface to another, determining the correct terminologies and eliciting user requirements. It was not intended to get user feedback regarding its aesthetic look and feel and system response time because initially, gathering user requirements and designing usable user interfaces were more important. 3.1 Prototype Creation and Usability Study Paper prototyping is a method to brainstorm, design, create, test and communicate user interfaces. It uses only stationeries like pencils, scissors, highlighters, paper, cardboard and sticky notes to create a mock-up of the interface design (Snyder, 2003). However, creating paper prototype for a mobile phone and its application is a little bit different than for a desktop application. This is due to its small screen size and its mobility feature. The screen interface was drawn on sticky notes, while the phone prototype was created using cardboards. The size of the phone prototype and the application interface was a bit larger than a real mobile phone. Figure 1 shows the phone prototype and Figure 1 shows a few sticky notes that represent the screen interface. Next, they were used to conduct a usability study with six representative users.

Figure 1: The phone prototype and example of screen interfaces
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The first usability study was conducted in a computer laboratory with six participants. The person involved were an instructor who coordinates the session, an observer who observes the participant while he or she is interacting with the application and a person who becomes the “Computer”, responsible to emulate the flow of the screen interface. Each participant was required to perform four tasks, which were searching and viewing information of restaurants, places of interest, local amenities and public transportation. The test took about 15 minutes per person. Then, the participant filled-in an evaluation form to evaluate the application in terms of its navigability, design layout and terminologies used as well as to provide suggestions for improvement. Figure 2 shows a photo of the usability test, where the user is interacting with the application and the “Computer” is changing the screen interface to reflect the action made by the user.

Figure 2: Usability Study The findings from the first usability study were documented and refinements were made to the prototype. In the second iteration, the refined prototype was used to conduct the second usability study with another six participants. By using paper prototyping technique, the usability studies took only four days to complete. 3.2 Location-Based Service and Positioning Technology The application that we are developing utilizes Location-Based Service (LBS) in order to determine the user location. LBS achieve this by using either one of these methods, the network-based positioning; the terminal based positioning method and the hybrid method.

Source: (Steineger, et al., 2006)

Figure 3: Types of Mobile Positioning
Paper number: 6415198

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In the network-based positioning method, the tracking and the determination of user-location is done by using base-station network . This method uses mobile network data to determine user position; typically this utilizes the cell-phone tower information (Cell-ID, Enhanced Cell-ID, Angel of Arrival AOA) which provided service to find out the exact user position. In terminal-based positioning (method, the location is determined by calculated by the mobile device itself from signal received from base station, for this reason the terminal-base positioning method is also known as device position. The most popular implementation of terminal-based positioning is Global Positioning System (GPS). The base station for GPS is GPS satellites that transmit signal containing pseudo random sequence (PRN) which mobile device uses to determine its current location (Steineger, et al,2006; Petrova and Wang, 2008) The terminal-base positioning (GPS satellites) is independent from the mobile network and vice versa, however both of these methods yield almost the same result in ideal condition. This resulted in a hybrid approach that utilizes both methods in determining user position. In this case, newer mobile devices features Assisted-GPS (A-GPS) which uses network base approach to roughly determine the user location and supplying the mobile device with calculated GPS satellite orbital data which is then use to lock the satellite much faster than otherwise. Generally the position obtained from terminal-based positioning method is more accurate than network based positioning method, but the former methods is much slower and require the user to be outdoor in a clear sky in order to lock positioning satellites. According to Steineger, et al.(2006) and Petrova & Wang (2008), the accuracy of network-based positioning method can range between 100m to several kilometers while GPS based positioning method has a much better accuracy of between 5m to 100m, which is the reason we are going for the hybrid positioning method in developing our application.

3.2 Hardware and Software Platforms The hardware platform that we choose to implement in his project is Nokia Symbian S60 3rd edition mobile phone as it features LBS that support 3 positioning method discussed in the previous section. The Nokia Symbian devices support the widest choice of software development platform which includes JavaME, Python, Symbian C++ and Flashlite (Jokela, 2005). Nokia Symbian phone hardware included integrated GPS chip capable of receiving signal from 16 GPS satellites and A-GPS capability for performing network-based positioning acquisition which is more than adequate for the project. Two of the software development platform identified as the potential platform for the development of this application, but after doing more literature review, the Java Platform, Micro Edition (JavaME) was finally chosen. JavaME is more portable across other (non-Nokia) mobile devices and it has an open specification which mobile phone vendor can choose to implement on their own devices, offering an advantage of portability across user segment (Read & Maurer, 2005) JavaME is a mobile software development and runtime platform based on Java. It included a subset of the Java language specification and a set of well-defined API that are robust and portable. The JSR-179: Location API present in JavaME platform supports getting coordinates from LBS-enabled phone transparently without the need to delve deeply into different hardware implementation or how the coordinates are obtained (Broll, et al., 2007;Loytana, 2006;Jokela,2005).

Paper number: 6415198

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4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS The usability study revealed some flaws in the user interface design especially its design layout and terminologies used. However, all participants agreed that the application was quite easy to navigate and they could learn using it quickly. These findings have been used to guide us in designing and developing the actual working prototype. 4.1 Design Layout Initially, the Restaurants information was organized by sorting its names alphabetically. If the user wants to view its information and the ratings given to it, he has to select the restaurant name and then only full information will appear. However, during usability test, participants felt that it was not suitable. Two participants suggested that restaurants should be organized according to category, such as Fast Food, Malaysian Food, Thai Food and International Food. They also wanted the restaurants to be sorted according to the ratings (star) given to it by previous travelers. Thus, restaurants with higher ratings should appear first in the list under each category. The stars should be located right next to the restaurant name. The same organization of information according to ratings has been changed for other places as well 4.2 Terminologies In the screen that displays information of a particular place, there is an Option menu that contains three submenus, which were Give Ratings, Add Comment and User Recommendation. However, these terms were not appropriately used in the context of user reviews or opinions. Thus they were changed to Assign Ratings, Add Review and User Review respectively. The term Give Ratings was changed to Assign Ratings as it is a more formal term. To standardize the term, Add Comment was changed to Add Review. It will enable the user to share his review about a destination. The term User Recommendation actually contains the collective reviews given by other users who have visited a particular place. Since reviews can be shared as negative and positive experience, the term Recommendation was rather confusing. Hence it was changed to User Review. 4.3 Navigability In order to go back to the main menu of the application, the user has to press a series of Back button, which is a hassle. To make the navigation easier, the link to Main Menu was added as submenu under the Option menu of every screen. 5. CONCLUSIONS The prototype is still under development and when it is completed, it will be field tested in Perlis and Kedah. The usability study conducted in the design phase has helped in minimizing corrections that need to be made in the source code, which ease the effort in programming. The application has commercialization potential in the sense that businesses can use it as a medium to advertise their products and services as well as to promote more visitations to a destination. Consequently, it can support the growth of tourism industry in Malaysia.

Paper number: 6415198

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REFERENCES Broll,G., Siorpaes, S., Rukzio, E., Paolucci, M., Hamard, J., Wagner, M., Schmidt A.(2007). Fifth IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PerCom'07), pp 262-271. Hinz, M, Fiala, Z.(2005). Context Modeling for Device-and Location-Aware Mobile Web Applications . IEEXplore: 3rd International Conference on Pervasive Computing Jokela, J.(2005).Evaluation of Testing Software for Symbian OS/C++ and Series60. Bachelor Thesis, Evetek, Helsinki Metropolia University, Helsinki. Kim,H. Scerri,S., Breslin, J., Decker,S., Kim H.(2008) Proceedings of the International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications. Loytana, K. (2006). JSR 179: Location API for J2ME - Final Release 2. http://www. jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=179, Accessed 5 December 2008 Mahmoud, Q.(2005). J2ME and Location-Based Services. Sun Microsystems Developer Network (SDN). Pan, B., Crotts, J.(2007). Charleston Tour Guide: Developing and Evaluating a GPS-Enabled Mobile Device for Touring Charleston.

Petrova, K.,Wang, B.(2008). Location-based Services: A Roadmap for New Zealand. The 21st Annual Conference of the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications
Read K., Maurer, F.(2005). "Developing Mobile Wireless Applications," IEEE Internet Computing, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 81-86 Rosson, M. B., Carroll, J. M. (2002). Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based Development of HumanComputer Interaction. San Fransisco: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers. Rubin, J. (1994). Handbook of Usability Testing: How to Plan, Design, and Conduct Effective Tests: John Wiley & Sons Schmidt-Belz, B., Laamanen,H., Poslad S,Zipf, B. (2003). Location-based mobile tourist services - first user experience. International Congress on Tourism and Communications Technologies, Helsinki: Springer Computer Science Schiller J.H., Voisard, A.(2004).Location-Based Services. California: Morgan Kaufmann. Snyder, C. (2003). Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces. San Fransisco: Morgan Kauffman Publishers. Steineger, S., Neun, M.,Edwardes, A.(2006). Foundations of location based services.

http://www.spatial.cs.umn.edu/CS8715/IM7_steiniger.pdf. Accessed 5 December 2008.
Tilson, D., Lyytinen, K., Baxter, R. (2004). A Framework for selecting a Location Based Service (LBS) Strategy and Service Portfolio. Proceedings of the 37th Hawaii Int’l Conference on System Sciences.

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Voulodimos A., Patrikakis, C.(2007).Using Personalized Mashups for Mobile Location Based Services. Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing Conference Zaphiris, P., Kurniawan, S. (2007). Human Computer Interaction Research in Web Design and Evaluation. Pennsylvania: IGI Publishing.

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