Monday, September 19, 2011

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

The paper focus on understanding different inteface mechanisms that helps users with effective communication of information. With the assumption that advanced interaction techniques are already in place and there is need for evaluating their efficiency, authors review four categories based on usage of space,time and visual effects. Spatial Separation for simultaneous display of overview and detailed view can be achieved using scroll bars thumbnails etc, applications of which can be seen in google maps and Microsoft PowerPoint. Authors advocate one-way synchronization between overview and detailed view as slight decoupling allow users to access overview without altering detailed view. Design issues associated with zooming are well supported with examples like lack of awareness about activation and deactivation of zooms and space-scale diagram to show increase in amount of panning with increase in scale and desert fog. I enjoyed reading several Automatic zooming theories like depth modulated flying, SDAZ, orthoZoom controller. Focus+Context approach largely rely on fish-eye concept but can also achieved by regulating size and resolution of display. Mac-OS display panel and Microsoft word views effectively convey gist of Fisheye concept. Fourth approach, Cue-based, can be used in conjunction with any of the above approaches.Its widely used as an effective search technique and for conveying out-of-scope information to users.

Empirical analysis and categorical review of diffrent theories based on low-level and high level evaluations clearly explain advantage of using one approach over another as well as combination of approaches.Conclusion drawn include, Fisheye performs better that the overview+details and zooming while dealing with of target acquisition and multiple foci. Overview+details outperforms zooming techniques in terms of task completion times for tasks. However, non-overview is better than overview + details, in general. For the purpose of comprehension, overview+details better than fisheye as it promotes focused reading.Overall its a very informative read . Every approach is backed up with related theories and experimental proof.