Monday, October 3, 2011

Reading: The Eyes Have It (Interaction)

Right off the bat, I notice that this paper was referenced in an earlier paper that we read specifically the paper on distributed cognition. At least this line was referenced elsewhere: "A useful starting point for designing advanced graphical user interjaces is the Visual lnformation-Seeking Mantra: overview first, zoom and filter, then details on demand."

The definition of browsing and known item search right off the bat is useful, and intuitive. Defining the effectiveness of specific visualizations with respect to the task at hand, part of the point of this paper, is extremely good to know. The paper mentions that bandwidth through the eyes is greater than through any other sense, which is a good observation. The list of tasks that the author presents seems useful enough to reiterate, so I'll try:

- Overview: discern the main idea of a project of information, or get be able to gain an intelligible synopsis of the information, perhaps without too many details.
- Zoom: drill down further into individual items.
- Filter: discard information that isn't relevant to your current search interests
- Details-on-demand: items should be selectable, or drillable in some way for further detail. I think this is finer detail, with points of interest that are different than the current search interest that brought up the item, so it's different than Zoom, although my description is lacking.
- Relate: compare
- History: very good observation here...don't make people repeat a search, let them go back in time to when they did it the first go-round.
- Extract: allow search parameters to vary independently.

The rest of the article is obviously useful in theory, but I thought the examples were either dated, or seemingly not very good. Still a great paper on interaction, though.