Argumentation Maps support participants in geographically referenced debates as they occur, for example, as part of urban planning processes. In a quasi-naturalistic case study, 11 student participants discussed planning issues on the University of Toronto downtown campus. The analysis of this case study focuses on general usability aspects of an Argumentation Map prototype, such as cost of entry, efficiency, interactivity, and connectivity. By applying usability analysis methods from the field of human-computer interaction, we evaluate the learnability, memorability, and user satisfaction with this tool’s functionality. Our findings indicate that the participants were generally satisfied, but we include specific suggestions for improving the functionality of Argumentation Maps, e.g., with respect to map navigation, display of discussion contributions, and online status of participants. On a more general level, this case study contributes to the methods spectrum of research into participatory spatial decision support systems as an example of user testing in a realistic decision-making context.
C.L. Sidlar, C. Rinner (2007) Analyzing the Usability of an Argumentation Map as a Participatory Spatial Decision Support Tool. URISA Journal 19(1): 47-55