Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. F. Layne Wallace

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherif A. Elfayoumy

Rights Statement

Third Advisor

Dr. Arturo J. Sanchez

Department Chair

Dr. Judith L. Solano

College Dean

Dr. Neal S. Coulter


The development of effective multidimensional map-based interfaces is an important area of research in need of design techniques and guidelines. To date, guidelines for multidimensional interfaces have been generalized from text-based interfaces and few experimental studies have been conducted to asses their effectiveness.

Guidelines for design were studied with the goal of extending the current body of knowledge about the usability of these interfaces. Based on design guidelines, multidimensional map-based interfaces with various levels of depth and breath, with and without scent-based components were used to perform simple and compound tasks. The goal of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of design guidelines on response time, preferences, and navigation and task accuracy.

Results showed relationships exist among navigation and task accuracy, response time, and preferences within simple or compound tasks. However, few relationships exist between simple and compound tasks. Contrary to results from previous research, interface depth and breadth was found to have no significant effect on navigation and task accuracy or response time. For compound tasks, interfaces with scent-based components were found to be more effective regarding task accuracy at greater depth levels. The absence of scent in the interface was shown to be more efficient regarding response time and navigation accuracy during compound tasks.