Monday, September 19, 2011

Reaction: A Review of Overview + Detail, Zooming, and Foxus + Context Interfaces

First of all I found this paper to be quite structured in all respect. Though it is debatable but I can now probably relate that why author has chose single column layout and not double column layout for this.

Once again, this paper mostly discusses the HCI part of the information visualization. Author summarizes the state of research on interfaces that allow users to work at multiple levels of detail and then categorizes a system according to their varying uses of space, time or visual effect.

Particularly with regard to the Fisheye views, the author haven't talked anything about the kind of interaction to achieve them. For example, author has mentioned a little about Fitt's law in HCI. Fitt's law is an important model that determines the time required to rapidly move to a target area. However, most of the Fisheye views that author has discussed would require manual intervention (hovering etc) and if we apply Fitt's law on these views, we can certainly come up with much better and efficient interfaces. Whether it is a trade off or something useful, we can debate on that.

I really liked the way author has explained the four categorization of system with the help of real world examples of Google maps and other commonly used desktop applications. However I don't think that the kind of interfaces i.e. Overview+Detail , Zooming, Focus+Context would be enough to capture most of the modern interfaces that are emerging these days, for example interfaces for multitouch tablets and phones.