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A guide to visual multi-level interface design from synthesis of empirical study evidence 1 edition

A guide to visual multi-level interface design from synthesis of empir ...
Heidi Lam

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A guide to visual multi-level interface design from synthesis of empirical study evidence
Heidi Lam, Tamara Munzner

Published 2011 by Morgan & Claypool in San Rafael, Calif. (1537 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA 94901 USA) .
Written in English.

About the Book

Displaying multiple levels of data visually has been proposed to address the challenge of limited screen space. Although many previous empirical studies have addressed different aspects of this question, the information visualization research community does not currently have a clearly articulated consensus on how, when, or even if displaying data at multiple levels is effective. To shed more light on this complex topic, we conducted a systematic review of 22 existing multi-level interface studies to extract high-level design guidelines. To facilitate discussion, we cast our analysis findings into a four-point decision tree: (1) When are multi-level displays useful? (2) What should the higher visual levels display? (3) Should the different visual levels be displayed simultaneously, or one at a time? (4) Should the visual levels be embedded in a single display, or separated into multiple displays? Our analysis resulted in three design guidelines: (1) the number of levels in display and data should match; (2) high visual levels should only display task-relevant information; (3) simultaneous display, rather than temporal switching, is suitable for tasks with multi-level answers.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Terminology
3. Methodology
Study approach
Paper selection
Study result presentation
Related work
4. Summary of studies
5. Decision 1: single or multi-level interface
Multi-level interface interaction costs should be considered
Interaction costs from usage patterns
Interaction costs from participant strategies
Interaction costs from participants' interface choices
Single-level task-relevant data may not be suited for multi-level displays
Multi-level interfaces showed no benefits
Multi-level interfaces showed adverse effects
Multi-level interfaces showed mixed effects
Summary of considerations in choosing between a single or a multi-level interface
6. Decision 2: how to create the high-level displays?
Having too many visual levels may hinder performance
Having too much information on high-level displays may hinder performance
Compare between high-level displays with different amounts of visual information
Compare between high- and low-level displays
Displaying information is not sufficient; information has to be perceivable
A priori automatic filtering may be a double-edged sword
Filtering to remove irrelevant information
Filtering may cause disorientation and distrust
Roles of high-level displays may be more limited than proposed in literature
Supported: high-level views in separate interfaces provide navigation shortcuts
Supported: high-level views in separate interfaces show overall data structure
Open: high-level regions in embedded interfaces aid orientation
Open: high-level regions in separate interfaces provide data meaning
Summary of considerations in high-level display creations
7. Decision 3: Simultaneous or temporal displays of the multiple visual levels
Tasks with multi-level answers benefited from simultaneous displays of visual levels
Tasks with multi-level information clues benefited from simultaneous display of visual levels
Tasks with single-level information clues may be better with temporal switching
Considerations in choosing between temporal switching or simultaneous display of the visual levels
8. Decision 4: How to spatially arrange the visual levels, embedded or separate
The issue of distortion
Considerations in spatially arranging the various visual levels
9. Limitations of study
Reviewer bias
Limited analysis scope
Qualitative recommendations
10. Design recommendations
Provide the same number of visual levels as the levels of organization in the data
Provide relevant, sufficient, and necessary information in high-level displays to support context use
Simultaneous display of visual levels for multi-level answers or clues
11. Discussion and future work
A. Reviewed studies: interfaces,tasks, data and results
A.1 [FCScreen] Keeping things in context: a comparative evaluation of focus plus context screens, overviews and zooming
A.2 [Fishnet] Fishnet, a fisheye web browser with search term popouts: a comparative evaluation with overview and linear view
A.3 [DateLens] DateLens: a fisheye calendar interface for PDAs
A.4 [ScatterPlot] User interaction with scatterplots on small screens, a comparative evaluation of geometric-semantic zoom and fisheye distortion
A.5 [ElideSrc] hidden messages: evaluating the efficiency of code elision in program navigation
A.6 [FishSteer] Fisheye views are good for large steering tasks
A.7 [BigOnSmall] Interacting with big interfaces on small screens: a comparison of fisheye, zoom, and panning techniques
A.8 [eDoc] Reading of electronic documents: the usability of linear, fisheye and overview + detail interfaces and reading patterns and usability in visualization of electronic documents
A.9 [ZuiNav] Navigation patterns and usability of zoomable user interfaces with and without an overview
A.10 [FishMenu] Untangling the usability of fisheye menus
A.11 [FishSrc] Evaluating a fisheyes of source code
A.12 [SumThum] Summary thumbnails: readable overviews for small screen Web browsers
A.13 [LineGr] Overview use in multiple visual information resolution interfaces
A.14 [RubNav] an evaluation of pan and zoom and rubber sheet navigation
A.15 [Snap] Snap-together visualization: can users construct and operate coordinated visualizations
A.16 [InfoScent] The effects of information scent on visual search in the hyperbolic tree browser
A.17 [SpaceTree] SpaceTree: supporting exploration in large node link tree design evolution and empirical evaluation
A.18 [VisMem] Zooming, multiple windows, and visual working memory
A.19 [TimeGr] Visualization of graphs with associated timeseries data
A.20 [FishRadar] A comparison of traditional and fisheye radar view techniques for spatial collaboration
A.21 [FishNav] Navigating hierarchically clustered networks through fisheye and full-zoom methods
A.22 [SpaceFill] An evaluation of content browsing techniques for hierarchical space-filling visualizations
Authors' biographies.

Edition Notes

Part of: Synthesis digital library of engineering and computer science.

Series from website.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 95-100).

Abstract freely available; full-text restricted to subscribers or individual document purchasers.

Also available in print.

Mode of access: World Wide Web.

System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Synthesis lectures on visualization -- # 1
Other Titles
Synthesis digital library of engineering and computer science.


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
TK7882.I6 L254 2011

The Physical Object

[electronic resource] /

ID Numbers

Open Library
Internet Archive
9781608455935, 9781608455928


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