Overview Use in Multiple
Visual Information Resolution Interfaces
Proceedings of InfoVis 2007. IEEE Transactions
on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), Nov/Dec 2007.
PDF | Abstract
| Figures | Talk
In interfaces that provide multiple
visual information resolutions (VIR), low-VIR overviews typically sacrifice visual
details for display capacity, with the assumption that users can select regions
of interest to examine at higher VIRs. Designers can create low VIRs based on
multi-level structure inherent in the data, but have little guidance with single-level
data. To better guide design tradeoff between display capacity and visual target
perceivability, we looked at overview use in two multiple-VIR interfaces with
high-VIR displays either embedded within, or separate from, the overviews. We
studied two visual requirements for effective overview and found that participants
would reliably use the low-VIR overviews only when the visual targets were simple
and had small visual spans. Otherwise, at least 20% chose to use the high-VIR
view exclusively. Surprisingly, neither of the multiple-VIR interfaces provided
performance benefits when compared to using the high-VIR view alone. However,
we did observe benefits in providing side-by-side comparisons for target matching.
We conjecture that the high cognitive load of multiple-VIR interface interactions,
whether real or perceived, is a more considerable barrier to their effective use
than was previously considered.