An Approach to Decompose and Evaluate a Complex GIS-Application Design to a Simple, Lightweight, User-Centered App-Based Design Using User Experience Evaluation

David Kammerhofer, Johannes Scholz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Working with contemporary, monolithic desktop Geographical Information Systems can be laborious and confusing, especially for non-experts. An alternative for a more user friendly approach to spatial data edition and spatial analysis may be an “app-based” web application that is offering single tasks for the user—“micro applications”. In this paper, a method for determining such “micro applications” based on user stories is presented and applied to a specific use case—the case is centered around an Austrian Governmental Institution that digitizes and edits infrastructure data. The results of this process are implemented in an app-based web application. To measure the impacts of the app-based approach, we evaluate the user experience of the app-based approach in comparison to a desktop Geographical Information System offering the same functionality. For the measurement of the user experience, we used a focus group. The group had to accomplish tasks with the desktop Geographical Information System and with the app-based web application. To measure their user experience, we employed the tool AttrakDiff. The app-based web application achieves significantly better results in terms of user experience. This result is confirmed in a discussion panel carried out afterwards. Test persons responded that positive aspects of the app-based web application were the easy and intuitive handling and reduced user interface that helps the users to focus on their tasks without any distraction.
Original languageEnglish
Article number505
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • App-centered approach
  • GIS
  • User experience evaluation
  • User-centered design
  • Web application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing

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