A Gestalt theoretic perspective on the user experience of location-based services
Location-based services provide mobile users with information and functionality tailored to their geographical location. Within recent years these kinds of context-aware mobile systems have received increasing attention from software industry as well as from researchers within a wide range of computing disciplines. However, while a lot of research has been done into sensing, adapting and philosophizing over the complex concept of "context", little theoretically based knowledge exists about why, from a user experience perspective, some context-aware system designs work well and why others don't. Contributing to this discussion, this paper suggests the perspective of "Gestalt theory" as a potential theoretical framework for understanding the use of this class of computer systems, and argues that describing the user experience of location-based services through Gestalt theory's principles of proximity, closure, symmetry, continuity, and similarity can help explain how people make sense of small and fragmented pieces of information on mobile devices in context.