Limitations of signs as navigation aids in virtual worlds

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Computer Science

Conference Title

Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences

Date of Presentation



Virtual worlds continue to increase in popularity as a medium for teaching, training, and recreation. However, traveling in virtual worlds is a challenge for many who visit them. Previous research has shown that signs can be effective aids to assist virtual world users in the navigation process for some navigation tasks. In this paper, we explore limitations of signs as navigation aids in virtual worlds. Specifically, we report the results of an experiment to determine the impact of increasing the amount of information on signs and the results of removing signs from intersections in a virtual world. Our findings indicate that for navigation tasks with a small number of target locations, sign users outperform map users. With eight or more target locations, map users outperform sign users. Additionally, the performance of sign users began to degrade significantly when more than two signs were missing from the world. © 2010 IEEE.