Usability research laboratory for geospatial and allied applications

  • J. A. Quaye-Ballard Department of Geomatic Engineering, KNUST, Kumasi
  • S. A. Akorful-Andam Department of Geomatic Engineering, KNUST, Kumasi
  • M. N. Sackey Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, KNUST, Kumasi
  • N. L. Quaye-Ballard Department of Geoinformatics, Building and Road Research Institute , Fumesua
  • A. Awotwi Department of Geoinformatics and Spatial Development, University for Development Studies, Navrongo
Keywords: Think Aloud’ method; VPA Archival Management System (VAMS); Human Computer Interaction (HCI); Usability Engineering (UE); Geo-information


The use of computers has penetrated every sector of the Ghanaian economy. Researchers in Ghana and the KNUST environs are continually developing computer applications for users for addressing societal problems, as well as, automating the manual process of doing things. Researchers and developers are moving away from the use of commercial software to customized and user-friendly applications to suit the Ghanaian economy, thereby maximizing profit. End user applications are developed daily and these applications are most often not subjected to usability testing and evaluation with real users. Usability engages individuals as testing participants of the target audience to assess the degree to which a computer application meets specific usability standards. This research, funded by Building Stronger Universities II (BSU II) Project, uses the ‘Think Aloud’ technique in developing a usability laboratory for testing end user applications before being released to the final user. End user applications such as problem-based learning applications for distance learning, computer supported collaborative learning applications, drought and flood early warning applications, land use land cover related applications, climate change related applications, etc. will benefit from this usability testing laboratory.  The findings from this project contributes to the understanding and exploration of alternatives of end user applications.



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eISSN: 0855-0395