Displaying multiple visual information resolutions (VIRs) of data has been proposed for the challenge of limited screen space. We review 19 existing multiple-VIR interface studies and cast our findings into a four-point decision tree: (1) When is multiple VIR useful? (2) How to create the low-VIR display? (3) Should the VIRs be displayed simultaneously? (4) Should the VIRs be embedded, or separated? We recommend that VIR and data levels should match, and low VIRs should only display task-relevant information. Simultaneous display, rather than temporal switching, is suitable for tasks with multi-level answers.
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