Getting Around: Menus, Scrolling, and Advanced Navigation


May 7, 2012 @ 11:30, Room: Ballroom G

Chair: Emmanuel Pietriga, INRIA, France
Improving Command Selection with CommandMaps - Paper
Community: design
Contribution & Benefit: Introduces CommandMap interfaces for mouse-based command invocation. Theoretically and empirically demonstrates that their defining properties - spatially stable command locations and a flat command hierarchy - improve user performance.
Abstract » Designers of GUI applications typically arrange commands in hierarchical structures, such as menus, due to screen space limitations. However, hierarchical organisations are known to slow down expert users. This paper proposes the use of spatial memory in combination with hierarchy flattening as a means of improving GUI performance. We demonstrate these concepts through the design of a command selection interface, called CommandMaps, and analyse its theoretical performance characteristics. We then describe two studies evaluating CommandMaps against menus and Microsoft's Ribbon interface for both novice and experienced users. Results show that for novice users, there is no significant performance difference between CommandMaps and traditional interfaces -- but for experienced users, CommandMaps are significantly faster than both menus and the Ribbon.
Improving Scrolling Devices with Document Length Dependent Gain - Paper
Contribution & Benefit: Describes a method for applying document-length-dependent gain to events reported by scrolling input devices such as scroll wheels. Empirically demonstrates the method's benefits.
Abstract » We describe a method for applying gain to events reported by scrolling input devices such as scroll wheels. By treating document length as an input to our gain functions, the method allows rapid document traversal regardless of document length; it also allows slow and precise scroll control at shorter distances. An initial experiment characterises four diverse scrolling input devices -- a standard 'notched' scroll wheel, a high performance 'inertial' wheel, an isometric scrolling joystick, and a trackpad -- and the results are used to calibrate several gain function parameters. A second experiment validates the method, showing that it allows faster scrolling in long and short documents than current scrolling-device gain methods, and that subjective preferences favour it.
Aural Browsing On-The-Go: Listening-based Back Navigation in Large Web Architectures - Paper
Community: user experience
Contribution & Benefit: Listening to a mobile site while on-the-go can be challenging. This paper introduces and evaluates topic- and list-based back, two strategies to enhance mobile navigation while aurally browsing the web.
Abstract » Mobile web navigation requires highly-focused visual attention, which poses problems when it is inconvenient or distracting to continuously look at the screen (e.g., while walking). Aural interfaces support more eyes-free experiences, as users can primarily listen to the content and occasionally look at the device. Yet, designing aural information architectures remains a challenge. Specifically, back navigation is inefficient in the aural setting, as it forces users to listen to each previous page to retrieve the desired content. This paper introduces topic- and list-based back: two navigation strategies to enhance aural browsing. Both are manifest in Green-Savers Mobile (GSM), an aural mobile site. A study (N=29) compared both solutions to traditional back mechanisms. Our findings indicate that topic- and list-based back enable faster access to previous pages, improve the navigation experience and reduce perceived cognitive load. The proposed designs apply to a wide range of content-intensive, ubiquitous web systems.
PolyZoom: Multiscale and Multifocus Exploration in 2D Visual Spaces - Paper
Contribution & Benefit: We present PolyZoom, a navigation technique for 2D-multiscale visual spaces that allows users to build a hierarchy of focus regions, thereby maintaining awareness of multiple scales at the same time.
Abstract » The most common techniques for navigating in multiscale visual spaces are pan, zoom, and bird's eye views. However, these techniques are often tedious and cumbersome to use, especially when objects of interest are located far apart. We present the PolyZoom technique where users progressively build hierarchies of focus regions, stacked on each other such that each subsequent level shows a higher magnification. Correlation graphics show the relation between parent and child viewports in the hierarchy. To validate the new technique, we compare it to standard navigation techniques in two user studies, one on multiscale visual search and the other on multifocus interaction. Results show that PolyZoom performs better than current standard techniques.