The requirements for location based services: differences between target user groups
online resourceposted on 23.02.2006, 15:10 authored by Steven H. Bayer, Tracy RossTracy Ross, Andrew MayAndrew May
This paper reports on original work that will determine opportunities for the development of mobile location-based services for different user groups. Location-based services (LBS) employ knowledge of the user's location to enable the provision of new or enhanced services to a user via a wireless device (e.g. mobile phones, PDAs). The Valued LBS research project focuses on what users are trying to do, what information they need, and how you add value by providing them with information that is location or time relevant - the right information at the right time and in the right way. In the reported study, a user-centred approach was developed to identify particular contexts in which location-relevant information would be perceived as ‘valued’ by users. Value, in this case, is assigned to new information which is useful and relevant enough to justify the resources needed to access it and its benefit over other existing sources. A series of interviews (semi-structured and structured) were conducted using a scenario-based technique. The participants were required to describe their ‘location’ map (where they go, modes of travel) and then to detail the different types of day they have (with respect to the travelling that takes place). The two busiest types of day were then investigated in detail. Participants described the day along a timeline e.g. 6am – 6am which was broken down into hour segments. They identified the times when they travel or change location. In the semi-structured interviews they were asked to rank the importance of these journeys and in the structured interviews they were asked to rate each of these journeys, in terms of the likelihood of something going wrong and the consequence if it were to go wrong for them. The data formed a chronological structure that the interviewer then worked from for the final stage of questioning which involved interviewees explaining the cognitive processes involved in the planning and execution of each journey. This enabled an understanding of how their information needs vary throughout the day. As a result, the study was able to ascertain where there are high and low requirements for information for that individual and hence estimate the potential to provide value.