The aim of this research is to design and evaluate a text-free online map interface for illiterate
people and non-local-language speakers. The use of online maps is developing rapidly and while
a large majority of people are using these applications, there are many illiterate people who find
them extremely difficult to use due to their inability to read the text on the maps. Symbols and
audio are two methods that can be used to replace the reliance on traditional text. The research
conducts two surveys to define the suitable symbol type and identify features for online map
design; designs a set of text-free online map applications and finally, evaluates each designed
map application based on a sample of 90 participants (Native English Speakers, non-English
Speakers and Illiterate People). The results illustrate that illiterate people find it more difficult to
use the online map application compared with literate people. Text-free online map interfaces
are necessary to support illiterate people and the map that included both symbol and audio was
the most suitable type of text-free online map.
Image removed from thesis for copyright reasons: Figure 22 (tile map), page 51.