This research evaluates the aesthetics and usability of various in-vehicle electronic navigation map configurations. Study 1 adapted the aesthetics scale (Lavie and Tractinsky, 2004) to accommodate evaluations of map displays. Study 2 examined map displays that vary in the amount of data presented, their abstraction level and color schema, using objective and subjective usability measures. Maps with minimal detail produced best performances and highest evaluations. Abstractions were found to be advantageous when combined with reduced amount of detail and specific color schemas. Moderate abstractions were sufficient for obtaining the desired benefits. The color schema mainly affected the objective measures, pointing to the importance of good contrast between the cursor and the map colors. Study 3 further examined map schemas. Color schemas again had no effect on the perceptions of aesthetics and usability. Overall, similar results and high correlations were found for the perceived aesthetics and usability scales, indicating the connection between perceived aesthetics and usability. Lower correlations were found between the actual usability (performance) and the aesthetics scale. Finally, users' usability evaluations were not always in line with their actual performance, pointing to the importance of using objective usability measures.
- Electronic map displays