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Ben Shneiderman, David Feldman, and Anne Rose (February 1999)
Visualizing Digital Library Search Results with Categorical and Hierarchial Axes
CS-TR-3992 , UMIACS-TR-99-12
- Digital library search results are usually shown as a textual list, with 10-20 items per page. Viewing several thousand search results at once on a two-dimensional display with continuous variables is a promising alternative. Since these displays can overwhelm some users, we created a simplified two-dimensional display that uses categorical and hierarchical axes, called hieraxes. Users appreciate the meaningful and limited number of terms on each hieraxis. At each grid point of the display we show a cluster of color-coded dots or a bar chart. Users see the entire result set and can then click on labels to move down a level in the hierarchy. Handling broad hierarchies and arranging for imposed hierarchies led to additional design innovations. We applied hieraxes to a digital video library used by middle school teachers and a legal information system.
Harry Hochheiser and Ben Shneiderman (February 1999)
Understanding Patterns of User Visits to Web Sites: Interactive Starfield Visualization of WWW Log Data
CS-TR-3989 , UMIACS-TR-99-11, ISR-TR-99-3
- HTTP server log files provide Web site operators with substantial detail regarding the visitors to their sites. Interest in interpreting this data has spawned an active market for software packages that summarize and analyze this data, providing histograms, pie graphs, and other charts summarizing usage patterns. While useful, these summaries obscure useful information and restrict users to passive interpretation of static displays. Interactive starfield visualizations can be used to provide users with greater abilities to interpret and explore web log data. By combining two-dimensional displays of thousands of individual access requests, color and size coding for additional attributes, and facilities for zooming and filtering, these visualizations provide capabilities for examining data that exceed those of traditional web log analysis tools. We introduce a series of interactive starfield visualizations, which can be used to explore server data across various dimensions. Possible uses of these visualizations are discussed, and difficulties of data collection, presentation, and interpretation are explored. Keywords World-Wide Web, Log File Analysis, Information Visualization
Ben Shneiderman (February 1999)
Creating Creativity for Everyone: User Interfaces for Supporting Innovation
CS-TR-3988 , UMIACS-TR-99-10, ISR-TR-99-4
- A challenge for human-computer interaction researchers and user interface designers is to construct information technologies that support creativity. This ambitious goal can be attained by building on an adequate understanding of creative processes. This paper offers the four-phase genex framework for generating excellence: - Collect: learn from previous works stored in digital libraries - Relate: consult with peers and mentors at early, middle and late stages - Create: explore, compose, and evaluate possible solutions - Donate: disseminate the results and contribute to the digital libraries Within this integrated framework, this paper proposes eight activities that require human-computer interaction research and advanced user interface design. A scenario about an architect illustrates the process of creative work within a genex environment.
Shneiderman, Ben (Nov/Dec 1998)
Educational Journeys on the Web Frontier
EDUCOM Review 33,6 (Nov/Dec 1998), 10,12-14
Plaisant, C., Mushlin, R., Snyder, A., Li, J., Heller, D., Shneiderman, B. (1998)
LifeLines: Using Visualization to Enhance Navigation and Analysis of Patient Records
Revised version in 1998 American Medical Informatic Association Annual Fall Symposium (Orlando, Nov. 9-11, 1998), p. 76-80, AMIA, Bethesda MD.
CS-TR-3943 , UMIACS-TR-98-56
- LifeLines provide a general visualization environment for personal histories. We explore its use for clinical patient records. A Java user interface is described, which presents a one-screen overview of a computerized patient record using timelines. Problems, diagnoses, test results or medications can be represented as dots or horizontal lines. Zooming provides more details; line color and thickness illustrate relationships or significance. The visual display acts as a giant menu, giving direct access to the data.
Li, J., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (1998)
Data Object and Label Placement for Information Abundant Visualizations
To appear in Proceedings, Workshop on New Paradigms in Information Visualization and Manipulation (NPIV'98) In conjunction with the CIKM'98, ACM, New York.
CS-TR-3901 , UMIACS-TR-98-28
- Placing numerous data objects and their corresponding labels in limited screen space is a challenging problem in information visualization systems. Extending map-oriented techniques, this paper describes static placement algoritms and develops metrics (such as compactness and labeling rate) as a basis for comparison among these algorithms. A control panel facilitates user customiziation by showing the metrics for alternative algorithms. Dynamic placement techyniques that go beyond map-oriented techniques demonstrate additional possibilities. User actions can lead to selective display of data objects and their labels.
Shneiderman, B., Borkowski, E.Y., Alavi, M., Norman, K. (1998)
Emergent Patterns of Teaching/Learning in Electronic Classrooms
Edcuational Technology Research and Development 46, 4 (1998, 23-42)
CS-TR-3889 , UMIACS-TR-98-21
- Novel patterns of teaching/learning have emerged from faculty and students who use our three Teaching/Learning Theaters at the University of Maryland, College Park. These fully-equipped electronic classrooms have been used by 74 faculty in 264 seme ster-long courses since the Fall of 1991 with largely enthusiastic reception by both faculty and students. The designers of the Teaching/Learning Theaters sought to provide a technologically rich environment and a support staff so that faculty could conce ntrate on changing the traditional lecture from its unidirectional information flow to a more collaborative activity. As faculty evolved their personal styles in using the electronic classrooms, novel patterns of teaching/learning have emerged. In additio n to enhanced lectures, we identified three common patterns: active individual learning, small-group collaborative learning, and entire-class collaborative learning.
Tanin, E., Lotem, A., Haddadin, I., Shneiderman, B., Plaisant, C., Slaughter, L. (1998)
Facilitating Network Data Exploration with Query Previews: A Study of User Performance and Preference
CS-TR-3879 , UMIACS-TR-98-14
- Current network data exploration systems which use command languages (e.g. SQL) or form fillin interfaces fail to give users an indication of the distribution of data items. This leads many users to waste time posing queries which have zero-hit or mega-hit result sets. Query previewing is a novel visual approach for browsing huge networked information warehouses. Query previews supply data distribution information about the database that is being searched and give continuo us feedback about the size of the result set for the query as it is being formed. Our within-subjects empirical comparison studied 12 subjects using a form fillin interface with and without query previews. We found statistically significant differences sh owing that query previews sped up performance 1.6 to 2.1 times and led to higher subjective satisfaction.
Shneiderman, B. (1997)
Codex, Memex, Genex: The Pursuit of Tranformational Technologies
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 10,2 (1998), 87-106.
CS-TR-3862 , UMIACS-TR-97-89
- Handwritten codexes or printed books transformed society by allowing users to preserve and transmit information. Today, leather-bound volumes and illuminated manuscripts are giving way to animated image maps and hot links. Vannevar Bush's memex has inspired the World Wide Web, which provides users with vast information resources and convenient communications. In looking to the future, we might again transform society by building genexes -- generators of excellence. Such inspirational environments would empower personal and collaborative creativity by enabling users to:
- collect information from an existing domain of knowledge,
- create innovations using advanced tools,
- consult with peers or mentors in the field, and then
- disseminate the results widely.
This paper describes how a framework for an integrated set of software tools might support this four-phase model of creativity in science, medicine, the arts, and beyond. Current initiatives are positive and encouraging, but they do not work in an integrated fashion, often miss vital components, and are frequently poorly designed. A well-conceived and clearly-stated framework could guide design efforts, coordinate planning, and speed development.
Greene, S., Tanin, E., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B., Mushlin, R., Olsen, L., Major, G., Johns, S. (1997)
The End of Zero-Hit Queries: Query Previews for NASA's Global Change Master Directory
Information Management and Processing
CS-TR-3856 , UMIACS-TR-97-84
- The Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) of the University of Maryland and NASA have collaborated over the last three years to refine and apply user interface research concepts developed at HCIL in order to improve the usability of NASA data services. The research focused on dynamic query user interfaces, visualization, and overview +preview designs. An operational prototype, using query previews, was implemented with NASA's Global Change Master Directory (GCMD), a directory service for earth science data sets. Users can see the histogram of the data distribution over several attributes and choose among attribute values. A result bar shows the cardinality of the result set, thereby preventing users from submitting queries that would have zero hits. Our experience confirmed the importance of metadata accuracy and completeness. The query preview interfaces make visible problems or holes in the metadata that are unnoticeable with classic form fill-in interfaces. This could be seen as a problem, but we think that it will have a long-term beneficial effect on the quality of the metadata as data providers will be compelled to produce more complete and accurate metadata. The adaptation of the research prototype to the NASA data required revised data structures and algorithms.
Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (1997)
An Information Architecture to Support the Visualization of Personal Histories
Information Processing & Management, 34, 5, pp. 581-597, 1998.
CS-TR-3855 , UMIACS-TR-97-87
- This paper proposes an information architecture for personal history data and describes how the data model can be extended to a runtime model for an intuitive visualization using graphical timelines. Our information architecture, is developed for medical patient records, but is usable in other application domains such as juvenile justice or personal resumes. Our model of personal history data groups events into aggregates which are contained in facets (e.g. doctor visits, hospitalizations, or lab tests). Links enable representation of arbitrary relationships across events and aggregates. Data attributes such as severity can be mapped by data administrators to visual attributes such as color and line thickness. End-users have powerful controls over the display contents and they can modify the mapping to fit their tasks.
North, C., Shneiderman, B. (1997)
A Taxonomy of Multiple Window Coordinations
CS-TR-3854 , UMIACS-TR-9783
- In current windowing environments, individual windows are treated independently, making it difficult for users to coordinate information across multiple windows. While coordinated multi-window strategies are increasingly used in visualization and web user interfaces, designs are inflexible and haphazard. The space of such linked-window strategies is not well understood and largely unexplored. This paper presents a taxonomy of coordinations, identifies important components, and reviews example interfaces. This 2x3 taxonomy provides guidelines for designers of applications, user interface toolkits, and window managers. We hope to encourage construction of generalized, end-user programmable, robust, multiple-window coordination capabilities.
Shneiderman, B. (1997)
Relate-Create-Donate: An educational philosophy for the cyber-generation
Computers & Education 31, 1 (1998), 25-39.
Greene, S., Marchionini, G., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (1997)
Previews and Overviews in Digital Libraries: Designing Surrogates to Support Visual Information-Seeking
To appear in JASIS
CS-TR-3838 , UMIACS-TR-97-73, ISR-TR-97-80
- To aid designers of digital library interfaces and web sites in creating comprehensible, predictable and controllable environments for their users, we define and discuss the benefits of previews and overviews as visual information representations. Previews and overviews are graphic or textual representations of information abstracted from primary information objects. They serve as surrogates for those objects. When utilized properly, previews and overviews allow users to rapidly discriminate objects of interest from those not of interest, and to more fully understand the scope and nature of large collections of information resources. We provide a more complete definition of previews and overviews, and discuss system parameters and aspects of primary information objects relevant to designing effective preview and overviews. Finally, we present examples that illustrate the use of previews and overviews and offer suggestions for designers.
Tanin, E., Beigel, R. and Shneiderman, B. (1997)
Design and Evaluation of Incremental Data Structures and Algorithms for Dynamic Query Interfaces
CS-TR-3796 , UMIACS-TR-97-46,ISR-TR-97-54
- Dynamic Query Interfaces (DQIs) are a recently developed databse access mechanism that provides continuous real-time feedback to the user during query formulation. Previous work shows that DQIs are an elegant and powerful interface to small databases. Unfortunately, when applied to large databases, previous DQI algorithms slow to a crawl. We present a new incremental appraoch to DQI algorithms that works well with large databases, both in theory and in practice.
Doan, K., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. and Bruns, T. (1997)
Interface and Data Architecture for Query Preview in Networked Information Systems
Revised version to appear in ACM TOIS as a Practice and Experience Paper as: Interface and Data Architecture for Query Preview in Networked Information Systems, Plaisant, Shneiderman, Doan and Bruns. A short early version also appeared in ACM SIGMOD Record, Vol.26, No.1, pp. 75-81 March 1997, as Query Previews for Networked Information Systems: A Case Study with NASA Environmental Data by Doan, K., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B.,
CS-TR-3792 , UMIACS-TR-97-42,ISR-TR-97-57
- There are numerous problems associated with formulating queries on networked information systems. These include data diversity, data complexity, network growth, varied user base, and slow network access. This paper proposes a new approach to a network query user interface which consists of two phases: query preview and query refinement. This new approach is based on the concepts of dynamic queries and query previews, which guides users in rapidly and dynamically eliminating undesired datasets, reducing the data volume to manageable size, and refining queries locally before submission over a network. Examples of 2 applications are given: a Restaurant Finder and prototype with NASA's Earth Observing Systems--Data Information Systems (EOSDIS). Data architecture is discussed and user's feedback is presented. Dynamic queries and query previews provide solutions to many existing problems in querying networked information systems.
Kandogan, E., and Shneiderman, B. (1997)
Elastic Windows: A Hierarchical Multi-Window World-Wide Web Browser
Proc. ACM, UIST97, ACM New York (October 1997), 169-177
CS-TR-3789 , ISR-TR-97-56
- The World Wide Web (WWW) is becoming an invaluable source for the information needs of many users. However, current browsers are still primitive, in that they do not support many of the navigation needs of users, as indicated by user studies. They do not provide an overview and a sense of location in the information structure being browsed. Also they do not facilitate the organization and filtering of information nor aid users in accessing already visited pages without much cognitive demands. In this paper, a new browsing interface is proposed with multiple hierarchical windows and efficient multiple window operations. It provides a flexible organization where users can quickly organize, filter, and restructure the information on the screen as they reformulate their goals. Overviews can give the user a sense of location in the browsing history as well as provide fast access to a hierachy of pages.
Lane, J. C., Kuester, S. P., Shneiderman, B. (January 1997)
User Interfaces for a Complex Robotic Task: A Comparison of Tiled vs. Overlapped Windows
CS-TR-3784 , ISR-TR-97-55
- High complexity tasks, such as remote teleoperation of robotic vehicles, often require multiple windows. For these complex tasks, the windows necessary for task completion, may occupy more area than available on a single visual display unit (VDU). Since the focus of the robotic task constantly changes, modular control panels that can be opened, closed, and moved on the screen are invaluable to the operator. This study describes a specific robotic task and the need for a multi-window interface that can be easily manipulated. This paper examines two multi-window management strategies: tiled (fixed size) and arbitrary overlap. Multi-window searches were performed using the two management styles and they were compared on the basis of search completion time and error rates. Results with 35 novice users showed faster completion times for the tiled management strategy than for the arbitrary overlap strategy. Other factors such as the number of windows available, the number of displayed windows, workload of opening or closing windows, and effect of learning are discussed.
Shneiderman, B., Byrd, D., Croft, W. B. (January 1997)
Clarifying Search: A User-Interface Framework for Text Searches
D-Lib Magazine, January 1997
Condensed versions published as: Shneiderman, B., A framewok for search interfaces, IEEE Software (March/April 1997), 18-20
Revised and shortened version published as: Shneiderman, B., Byrd, D., and Croft, B., Sorting out searching: A user-interface framework for text searches, Communications of the ACM 41, 4 (April 1998), 95-98.
- Current user interfaces for textual database searching leave much to be desired: individually, they are often confusing, and as a group, they are seriously inconsistent. We propose a four- phase framework for user-interface design: the framework provides common structure and terminology for searching while preserving the distinct features of individual collections and search mechanisms. Users will benefit from faster learning, increased comprehension, and better control, leading to more effective searches and higher satisfaction.
Shneiderman, B. (February 1997)
Between Hope and Fear
Communications of the ACM, February 1997, Vol. 40, No. 2 (59-62)
Doan, K., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B., Bruns, B. (1997)
Query Previews for Networked Information Systems: A Case Study with NASA Environmental Data
ACM SIGMOD Record, Vol. 26, No. 1 (75-81), March 1997
- Formulating queries on networked information systems is laden with problems: data diversity, data complexity, network growth, varied user base, and slow network access. This paper proposes a new approach to a network query user interface which consists of two phases: query preview and query refinement. This new approach is based on dynamic queries and tight coupling, guiding users to rapidly and dynamically eliminate undesired items, reduce the data volume to a manageable size, and refine queries locally before submission over a network. A two-phase dynamic query system for NASAŘs Earth Observing Systems--Data Information Systems (EOSDIS) is presented. The prototype was well received by the team of scientists who evaluated the interface.
Keywords: User interface, direct manipulation, dynamic query, metadata, query preview, query refinement, EOSDIS.
Shneiderman, B. (January 1997)
Direct Manipulation for Comprehensible, Predictable, and Controllable User Interfaces
Proceedings of IUI97, 1997 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Orlando, FL, January 6-9, 1997, 33-39.
- Direct manipulation user interfaces have proven their worth over two decades, but they are still in their youth. Dramatic opportunities exist to develop direct manipulation programming to create end-user programming tools, dynamic queries to perform information search in large databases, and information visualization to support network database browsing. Direct manipulation depends on visual representation of the objects and actions of interest, physical actions or pointing instead of complex syntax, and rapid incremental reversible operations whose effect on the object of interest is immediately visible. This strategy can lead to user interfaces that are comprehensible, predictable and controllable. Direct manipulation interfaces are seen as more likely candidates to influence advanced user interfaces than adaptive, autonomous, intelligent agents. User control and responsibility are highly desirable.
Note: This paper is adapted, with permission of the publisher, from: Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (3rd Edition), Addison Wesley, Reading, MA (1997).
Plaisant, C., Bruns, T., Shneiderman, B., Doan, K. (1996)
Query Previews in Networked Information Systems: the Case of EOSDIS
Video in CHI 97 Video program , Atlanta GA, 22-27 March 1997, ACM, New York NY. A two page summary also appears in CHI 97 Extended Abstracts, ACM New York, 202-203.
- Dynamic queries have been shown to be an effective technique to browse information, and to find patterns and exceptions. Dynamic queries involve theinteractive control by a user of visual query parameters that generate rapid (100 ms update), animated, and visual displays of database search results. The data of early implementations was stored in local memory to guarantee optimal speed. Problems arise when the data is very large and distributed over a network. To overcome the problems of slow networks and data volume we propose a two-phase approach to query formulation using query previews and query refinements. Preview mechanisms have been used in the past and we believe that their use will be a ajor component of successful networked information systems interfaces.
This video is also available from HCIL as part of the 1996 HCIL Video report.
Tanin, E., Beigel, R., and Shneiderman, B. (1996)
Incremental Data Structures and Algorithms for Dynamic Query Interfaces
Workshop on New Paradigms in Information Visualization and Manipulation, Fifth ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM '96) (Rockville, MD, Nov. 16, 1996) 12-15. Also in SIGMOD Record, Vol. 25, No. 4 (21-24), December 19
CS-TR-3730 , ISR-TR-97-5
- Dynamic query interfaces are a recently developed form of database access that provides continuous realtime feedback to the user during the query formulation process. Previous work shows that DQIs are an elegant and powerful interface to small databases. Unfortunately, when applied to large databases, previous DQI algorithms slow to a crawl. We present a new approach to DQI algorithms that works well with large databases.
Kandogan, E., Shneiderman, B. (October 1996)
Elastic Windows: Evaluation of Multi-Window Operations
CHI 97 Proceedings, Atlanta GA, 22-27 March 1997, ACM New York, 250-257
CS-TR-3695 , ISR-TR-97-2
- Most windowing systems follow the independent overlapping windowsapproach, which emerged as an answer to the needs of the 1980s' technology. Due to advances in computers and display technology, and increased information needs, modern uses demand more functionality from window management systems. We proposed Elastic window with improved spatial layout and rapid multi-window operations as an alternative to current window management strategies for efficient personal role management [kandogan]. In this approach, multi-window operations are achieved by issuing operations on window groups hierarchically organized in a space-filling tiledlayout. Thispaper describes the Elastic Windows interface briefly and thepresents a study comparing user performance with Elastic Windows and traditionalwindow management tewindow situations. Elastic Windows users had statisticallysignificantly faster performance for all 6 and 12 window situations, for task environment setup, task environment switching, and taskexecution. These results suggest promising possibilities for multiple window operations and hierarchicalnesting, which can be applied tothe next generation of tiled as well as overlapped window managers.
Kolker, R., Shneiderman, B. (July 1996)
Tools for creating and exploiting content
Getty Art History Information Program, Research Agenda for Networked Cultural Heritage (Santa Monica, CA,1996) 27-30.
Shneiderman, B. (July 1996)
The eyes have it: A task by data type taxonomy for information visualizations
Proc. 1996 IEEE Conference on Visual Languages (Boulder, CO, Sept.3-6,1996) 336-343.
CS-TR-3665 , ISR-TR-96-66.
- A useful starting point for designing advanced graphical user interfaces is the Visual Information-Seeking Mantra: Overview first, zoom and filter, then details-on-demand. But this is only a starting point in trying to understand the rich and varied set of information visualizations that have been proposed in recent years. This paper offers a task by data type taxonomy with seven data types (1-, 2-, 3-dimensional data, temporal and multi-dimensional data, and tree and network data) and seven tasks (overview, zoom, filter, details-on-demand, relate, history, and extract).
Plaisant, C., Ed. (June 1996)
1996 Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports
- 45 minute video of the lab's work over the past year. Topics are:
- Introduction - Ben Shneiderman
- Elastic Windows for Rapid Window Management
- Life-Lines: Visualizing Personal Histories
- Designing Interfaces for Youth Services Information Management
- Query Previews in Networked Information Systems: The case of EOSDIS
- Baltimore Learning Communities
- Sample from '94 Video Report - Visual Information Seeking using the FilmFinder
Mahajan, R., Shneiderman, B. (May 1996)
Visual & textual consistency checking tools for graphical user interfaces
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 23, 11 (November 1997), 722-735.
CS-TR-3639 , CAR-TR-828, ISR-TR-96-46.
- Designing a user interface with a consistent visual design and textual properties with current generation GUI development tools is cumbersome. SHERLOCK, a family of consistency checking tools, has been designed to evaluate visual design and textual properties of interface, make the GUI evaluation process less arduous, and aid usability testing. SHERLOCK includes a dialog box summary table to provide a compact overview of visual properties of hundreds of dialog boxes of the interface. Terminology specific tools, like Interface Concordance, Terminology Baskets and Interface Speller have been developed. Button specific tools including Button Concordance and Button Layout Table have been created to detect variant capitalization, distinct typefaces, distinct colors, variant button sizes and inconsistent button placements.This paper describes software architecture, data structures and the use of SHERLOCK. An experiment with 60 subjects to study the effects of inconsistent interface terminology on user's performance showed 10-25\% speedup for consistent interfaces. SHERLOCK was tested with four commercial prototypes; the corresponding outputs, analysis and feedback from designers of these applications is presented.
Shneiderman, B. (April 1996)
Designing information-abundant websites
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 47 (1997), 5-29. Also Designing the User Interface, 3rd edition, Addision Wesley.
CS-TR-3634 , CAR-TR-824, ISR-TR-96-40
- The deluge of web pages has generated dystopian commentaries on the tragedy of the flood as well as utopian visions of harnessing the same flood for constructive purposes. Within this ocean of information there are also lifeboat web pages with design principles, but often the style parallels the early user interface writings in the 1970s. The well-intentioned Noahs who write from personal experience as website designers, often draw their wisdom from specific projects, making their advice incomplete or lacking in generalizability. Their experience is valuable but the paucity of empirical data to validate or sharpen insight means that some guidelines are misleading. As scientific evidence accumulates, foundational cognitive and perceptual theories will structure the discussion and guide designers in novel situations.
Preece, J., Shneiderman, B. (December 1995)
Survival of the fittest: The evolution of multimedia user interfaces
ACM Computing Surveys, vol. 27, 4 (Dec. 1995) 558-559.
- Multimedia is an art world term, often credited to designers Charles and Ray Eames, that describes the fusion of media such as painting, sculpture, photography, music, and video. Within the world of computers it is used broadly to describe almost any combination of media, ranging from simple text and graphics through to the Eames' vision (Nielsen, 1995; Preece et al., 1994; Shneiderman, 1992). The diversity of multimedia user interfaces raises questions about the origin of these varied species. We think Darwin would have nodded his head knowingly. His theory of evolution by natural selection through survival of the fittest elegantly explains the huge diversity of organisms that occupy the numerous ecological niches. But can this natural world theory explain the evolution of widgets, interface styles and emerging genres of multimedia? Why have some survived while others have not? Where do multimedia design ideas come from and what determines their evolution?
Korn, F., Shneiderman, B. (February 1996)
Navigating terminology hierarchies to access a digital library of medical images
- Browsing is an interactive and exploratory process for finding information in a digital library that has advantages over search term queries in many situations. Some browsers display a concept space as a node-link graph diagram, but this can look chaotic for a graph of moderate complexity. The approach taken in this paper is to suppress some of the interrelationships (links) and order the concept space as a tree by some `natural' hierarchy. The user can then explore hidden interrelationships by dynamically interacting with the system. We demonstrate the usefulness of browsing a hierarchy via this method in a prototype called MeSH-BROWSE, a system for browsing terms from the NLM Medical Subject Headings tree. It displays a node-link tree diagram of the con-cept space and reveals hidden interrelationships when a node is clicked on by triggering related nodes scattered about the tree to become highlighted. In this paper we describe MeSHBROWSE, discuss semantic and algorithmic issues involved with it, and discuss its implications for further research.
North, C., Shneiderman, B., Plaisant, C. (October 1995)
User controlled overviews of an image library: A case study of the Visible Human
Proc. of the 1st ACM International Conference on Digital Libraries (Bethesda, MD, March 20-23, 1996)
74-82. ACM, New York. In addition a video "Browsing anatomical image databases: A case study of the Visible Human" appeared in CHI 96 Video Program with a two-page video summary in ACM CHI '96 Conference Companion (Vancouver, BC, Canada, April 13-18, 1996) 414-415, http://www.acm.org/sigchi/chi96/proceedings. The video is also available from HCIL as part of the 1995 HCIL Video report.
CS-TR-3550 , CAR-TR-798, ISR-TR-95-99.
- This paper proposes a user interface for remote browsing of the Visible Human digital image library from the National Library of Medicine. The interface presents the user with a pair of tightly coupled views into the data set. The overview image provides a global view of the overall search space, and the preview image provides details about high resolution images available for downloading. The user sweeps the views through the search space and receives smooth, rapid feedback of contents. The interface software is completely functional and is freely available for public use at http://www.nlm.nih.gov.
Shneiderman, B., Alavi, M., Norman, K., Yu Borkowski, E. (September 1995)
Windows of opportunity in electronic classrooms
Communications of the ACM, Log on Education column, vol. 38, 11 (Nov. 1995) 19-24.
CS-TR-3542 , CAR-TR-797
- In our seven year effort to build electronic classrooms we tried to balance the pursuit of new technologies with the exploration of new teaching/learning styles while providing the necessary infrastructure for faculty training and support, and collecting ample evaluation data to guide our transformation. This experience has led to a growing community of faculty users, widespread student acceptance, and administration support for expansion. After four years of usage by 44 faculty (20 tenured, 9 untenured, 15 other staff) from 16 departments offering 122 courses with over 4010 students we are ready to report on the lessons we have learned. Courses filled most slots from 8am to 10pm, and were as diverse as The Role of Media in the American Political Process, Chinese Poetry into English, Marketing Research Methods, Database Design, and Saving the Bay.
Shneiderman, B., Rose, B. (September 1995)
Social impact statements: Engaging public participation in information technology design
Proc. CQL'96, ACM SIGCAS Symposium on Computers and the Quality of Life (Feb. 1996) 90-96. Also appears in Friedman, B. (Editor), Human Values and the Design of Computer Technology, CSLI Publications and Cambridge Univ. Press (1997), 117-133.
CS-TR-3537 , CAR-TR-796.
- "The real question before us lies here: do these instruments further life and enhance its values, or not?" - Mumford (1934) p.318. Computers have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Banks, airlines, motor vehicle administrations, police departments, Social Security, and the Internal Revenue Service all depend on computers. From their introduction, people have questioned the impact computers will have on society. We believe it is our responsibility as system designers to achieve organizational goals while serving human needs and protecting individual rights. The proposed Social Impact Statements (Shneiderman, 1990) would identify the impacts of information systems on direct and indirect users, who may be employees or the public. This paper proposes a framework for implementing Social Impact Statements for federal and local government agencies and regulated industries, with optional participation by the other privately held corporations. A Social Impact Statement should describe the new system and its benefits, acknowledge concerns and potential barriers, outline the development process, and address fundamental principles. Examples from our work with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice are offered.
Plaisant, C., Ed. (June 1995)
1995 Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports
CS-TR-3532 , CAR-TR-795
- 49 minute video of the labs work over the past year. Topics are:
- Introduction and table of contents - Ben Shneiderman
- Using Dynamic Queries for Youth Services Information - Anne Rose, Ajit Vanniamparampil
- Life-Lines: Visualizing Personal Histories - Brett Milash, Catherine Plaisant, Anne Rose
- Dynamic Queries and Pruning for Large Tree Structures - Harsha Kumar
- Browsing Anatomical Image Databases : the Visible Human - Flip Korn, Chris North
- Spinning Your Web: WWW Interface Design Issues - Vince Boisselle
- BizView : Managing Business and Network Alarms - Catherine Plaisant, Wei Zhao and Rina Levy
- Animated Specifications Using Interaction Object Graphs - David Carr
- WinSurfer: Treemaps for Replacing the Windows File Manager - Marko Teittinen
Doan, K., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (September 1995)
Query previews in networked information systems
Proc. of the Third Forum on Research and Technology Advances in Digital Libraries, ADL '96 (Washington, DC, May 13-15, 1996) IEEE CS Press, 120-129. Also abstract appears as Architecture of dynamic query user interface for networked information systems in on-line Proc. of NASA Science Information Systems Interoperability
Conference (College Park, MD, Nov. 6-9, 1995)
CS-TR-3524 , CAR-TR-788, ISR-TR-95-90
- In a networked information system, there are three major obstacles facing users in a querying process: slow network performance, large data volume and data complexity. In order to overcome these obstacles, we propose a two-phase approach to query formulation: Query Preview and Query Refinement. In the Query Preview phase, users formulate an initial query by selecting desired attribute values. The volume of matching data sets is shown graphically on preview bars which aid users to rapidly eliminate undesired data sets, and focus on a manageable number of relevant data sets. Query previews also prevent wasted steps by eliminating zero-hit queries. When the estimated number of data sets is low enough, users submit the initial query to the network, which returns the metadata of the data sets for the Query Refinement phase. Using this approach, we developed dynamic query user interfaces allowing users to formulate their queries using direct manipulation in an exploratory manner across a networked enviroment.
Plaisant, C., Milash, B., Rose, A., Widoff, S., Shneiderman, B. (September 1995)
Life Lines: Visualizing personal histories
ACM CHI '96 Conference Proc. (Vancouver, BC, Canada, April 13-18, 1996) 221-227, color plate 518, http://www.acm.org/sigchi/sigchi96/proceedings. The paper also has a corresponding video in the CHI 96 Video Program ACM, New York. Video a
lso available from HCIL in the 1996 HCIL Video report.
CS-TR-3523 , CAR-TR-787, ISR-TR-95-88.
- Life Lines provide a general visualization environment for personal histories that can be applied to medical and court records, professional histories and other types of biographical data. A one screen overview shows multiple facets of the records. Aspects, for example medical conditions or legal cases, are displayed as individual time lines, while icons indicate discrete events, such as physician consultations or legal reviews. Line color and thickness illustrate relationships or significance, scaling tools and filters allow users to focus on part of the information. Life lines reduce the chances of missing information, facilitate spotting anomalies and trends, streamline access to details, while remaining tailorable and easily sharable between applications. The paper describes the use of Life Lines for youth records of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice.and also for medical records. Techniques to deal with complex records are reviewed and issues of a standard personal record format are discussed.
Kandogan, E., Shneiderman, B. (September 1995)
Elastic windows: Improved spatial layout and rapid multiple window operations
ACM Proc. of the Workshop on Advanced Visual Interfaces, AVI '96 (Gubbio, Italy, May 27-29, 1996) 29-38.
CS-TR-3522 , CAR-TR-786, ISR-TR-95-89.
- Most windowing systems follow the independent overlapping windows approach, which emerged as an answer to the needs of the 80s' applications and technology. Advances in computers, display technology, and the applications demand more functionality from window management systems. Based on these changes and the problems of current windowing approaches, we have updated the requirements for multi-window systems to guide new methods of window management. We propose elastic windows with improved spatial layout and rapid multi-window operations. Multi-window operations are achieved by issuing operations on a hierarchically organized group of windows in a space-filling tiled layout. Sophisticated multi-window operations like Hook, Pump, Minimize, Restore, Move and Relocate have been developed to handle fast task-switching and to structure the work environment of users to their rapidly changing needs. We claim that these multi-window operations and the tiled layout decrease the cognitive load on users. Users found our prototype system to be comprehensible and enjoyable as they playfully explored the way multiple windows are reshaped.
Kumar , H.P., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (March 1995)
Browsing hierarchical data with multi-level dynamic queries and pruning
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 46, No. 1, 103-124 (January 1997).
CS-TR-3474 , CAR-TR-772, ISR-TR-95-53.
- Users often must browse hierarchies with thousands of nodes in search of those that best match their information needs. The PDQ Tree-browser (Pruning with Dynamic Queries) visualization tool was specified, designed and developed for this purpose. This tool presents trees in two tightly-coupled views, one a detailed view and the other an overview. Users can use dynamic queries, a method for rapidly filtering data, to filter nodes at each level of the tree. The dynamic query panels are user-customizable. Subtrees of unselected nodes are pruned out, leading to compact views of relevant nodes. Usability testing of the PDQ Tree-browser, done with 8 subjects, helped assess strengths and identify possible improvements. The PDQ Tree-browser was used in Network Management (600 nodes) and UniversityFinder (1100 nodes) applications. A controlled experiment, with 24 subjects, showed that pruning significantly improved performance speed and subjective user satisfaction. Future research directions are suggested.
Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (May 1995)
Organization overviews and role management: Inspiration for future desktop environments
IEEE Proc. 4th Workshop on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises (Berkeley Springs, WV, April 20-22, 1995) 14-22.
CS-TR-3473 , CAR-TR-771.
- In our exploration of future work environments for the World Bank we propose two concepts. Organization overviews provide a consistent support to present the results of a variety of manual or semi-automated searches. This view can be adapted or expanded for each class of users to finally map the multiple personal roles an individual has in an organization. After command line interfaces, graphical point and click interfaces, and the current "docu-centric" designs, the natural direction is towards a role-centered approach where we believe the emphasis is on the management of those multiple roles. Each role involves coordination with groups of people and accomplishment of tasks within a schedule.
Mahajan, R., Shneiderman, B. (April 1995)
A family of user interface consistency checking tools
Proc. of the Twentieth Annual Software Engineering Workshop, SEL-95-004 (Greenbelt, MD, Dec. 1995) NASA Pub., 169-188.
CS-TR-3472 , CAR-TR-770, ISR-TR-95-52.
- Incorporating evaluation metrics with GUI development tools will help designers create consistent interfaces in the future. Complexity in design of interfaces makes efficient evaluation impossible by a single consistency checking evaluation tool. Our focus is on developing a family of evaluation tools in order to make the evaluation process less cumbersome. We have developed a dialog box typeface and color table to facilitate detection of anomalies in color, font, font size, and font style. Concordance tools have been developed to spot variant capitalization and abbreviations globally in the interface and specifically in the button widgets. As buttons are frequently used widgets, a button layout table has been created to spot any inconsistencies in height, width and relative position between a given group of buttons if present. Finally, a terminology basket tool has been created to identify unwanted synonyms of computer related terms used in the interface which may be misleading to the end user.
Slaughter, L., Norman, K.L., Shneiderman, B. (March 1995)
Assessing users' subjective satisfaction with the Information System for Youth Services (ISYS)
VA Tech Proc. of Third Annual Mid-Atlantic Human Factors Conference (Blacksburg, VA, March 26-28, 1995) 164-170.
CS-TR-3463 , CAR-TR-768
- In this investigation, the Questionnaire for User Interaction Satisfaction (QUIS 5.5), a tool for assessing users' subjective satisfaction with specific aspects of the human/computer interface was used to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Information System for Youth Services (ISYS). ISYS is used by over 600 employees of the Maryland State Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) as a tracking device for juvenile offenders. Ratings and comments were collected from 254 DJS employees who use ISYS. The overall mean rating across all questions was 5.1 on a one to nine scale. The ten highest and lowest rated questions were identified. The QUIS allowed us to isolate subgroups which were compared with mean ratings from four measures of specific interface factors. The comments obtained from users provided suggestions, complaints and endorsements of the system.
Plaisant, C., Rose, A., Shneiderman, B., Vanniamparampil, A. (Revised October 1996)
User interface reengineering: Low effort, high payoff strategies
IEEE Software, vol.14, 4 (July/August 1997) 66-72. Also translated in Japanese in Nikkei Computer,Nikkei Business Publications, Inc., Tokyo, Japan, no. 430, pp. 151-159, Nov. 1997.
CS-TR-3459 , CAR-TR-767
- User interface technology has advanced rapidly in recent years. Incorporating new developments in existing systems could result in substantial improvements in usability, thereby improving performance and user satisfaction, while shortening training and reducing error rates. Our focus is on low-effort high-payoff improvements to aspects such as data display and entry, consistency, messages, documentation, and system access. This paper provides guidelines for managers and designers responsible for user interface reengineering, based on the experience we gained from six projects, and compiles our observations, recommendations and outcomes.
Rose, A., Shneiderman, B., Plaisant, C. (Feb. 1995)
An applied ethnographic method for redesigning user interfaces
ACM Proc. of DIS 95, Symposium on Designing Interactive Systems: Processes, Practices, Methods & Techniques (Ann Arbor, MI, Aug 23-25, 1995)115-122.
CS-TR-3454 , CAR-TR-765.
- Methods for observing software users in the workplace will become increasingly important as the number of people using computers grows and developers improve existing systems. Successful redesigns rely, in part, on complete and accurate evaluations of the existing systems. Based on our evaluation experience, we have derived a set of practical guidelines to be used by designers in preparing for the evaluation, performing the field study, analyzing the data, and reporting the findings. By providing a general framework based on ethnographic research, we hope to reduce the likelihood of some common problems, such as overlooking important information and misinterpreting observations. Examples from our ongoing work with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services are used to illustrate the proposed guidelines.
Ellis, J., Tran, C., Ryoo, J., Shneiderman, B. (June 1995)
Buttons vs. menus: An exploratory study of pull-down menu selection as compared to button bars
CS-TR-3452 , CAR-TR-764.
- Button bars are a relatively new interaction method intended to speed up application use as compared to pull-down menus. This exploratory study compares three command selection methods: pull-down menus, button bars, and user choice of pull-down menus or button bars. Effectiveness was measured in two ways: speed of selection and error rate. 15 participants performed 15 word processor related tasks. Results show that in frequently used functions, such as character attribute selection (bold, italic, underline, etc.), button bars are faster. There were no statistically significant differences in error rates between the three interaction methods.
Shneiderman, B., Chimera, R., Jog, N., Stimart, R., White, D. (May 1995)
Evaluating spatial and textual style of displays
Proc. of Getting the Best from State of the Art Display Systems, The Society for Information Display (Trafalgar Square, London, Feb. 21-23, 1995). Also appears in MacDonald, L., and Lowe, A. (1997), Display systems: Design and Applications,
Chapter 5: Evaluating the spatial and textual style of diplays, pp 83-96. John Wiley & Sons.
CS-TR-3451 , CAR-TR-763, ISR-TR-95-51.
- The next generation of Graphic User Interfaces (GUIs) will offer rapid access to perceptually-rich, information abundant, and cognitively consistent interfaces. These new GUIs will be subjected to usability tests and expert reviews, plus new analysis methods and novel metrics to help guide designers. We have developed and tested first generation concordance tools to help developers to review terminology, capitalization, and abbreviation. We have also developed a dialog box summary table to help developers spot patterns and identify possible inconsistencies in layout, color, fonts, font size, font style, and ordering of widgets. In this study we also explored the use of metrics such as widget counts, balance, alignment, density, and aspect ratios to provide further clues about where redesigns might be appropriate. Preliminary experience with several commercial projects is encouraging.
Asahi, T., Turo, D., Shneiderman, B. (Jan. 1995)
Visual decision-making: using treemaps for the analytic hierarchy process
Video in CHI '95 Video Program, ACM, New York. A two page video summary also appears in ACM CHI '95 Conference Companion, (Denver, Colorado, May 7-11, 1995) 405-406. Video also available through HCIL as part of the 1994 HCIL Video Report.
- The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), a decision-making method based upon division of problem spaces into hierarchies, is visualized through the use of treemaps, which pack large amounts of hierarchical information into small screen spaces. Two direct manipulation tools, presented metaphorically as a "pump" and a "hook," were developed and applied to the treemap to support AHP sensitivity analysis. The problem of construction site selection is considered in this video. Apart from its traditional use for problem/ information space visualization, the treemap also serves as a potent visual tool for "what if" type analysis.
Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (May 1995)
Organization overviews and role management: Inspiration for future desktop environments
Video in CHI '95 Video Program, ACM, New York. A two page video summary also appears in ACM CHI '95 Conference Companion, (Denver, Colorado, May 7-11, 1995) 419-420. Video also available through HCIL as part of the 1994 HCIL Video Report.
- We worked with the World Bank, a large international organization, to look at desktop environments of the near future. We chose to focus on a subset of problems that employees regularly have to struggle with:
- finding people who can help
- searching documents and resources
- juggling many roles (e.g. a person can be in charge of three projects, member of two task forces, editor of the bank magazine, and organizer of the holiday party.)
A great deal of personal organization is required to manage these roles whose goals, partners, tools and documents are likely to be very different. The previous research on role theory  or CSCW focuses mainly on the coordination of individuals while our goal is to assist individuals manage their multiple roles.
Shneiderman, B. (October 1994)
Looking for the bright side of user interface agents
ACM Interactions, vol. 2, 1 (Jan. 1995) 13-15.
- User interface agents offer exciting new opportunities, but progress would be greater if goals and terms were clarified. Promoters of agent-oriented interfaces, as I understand them, wishto allow users to carry out complex actions at later times on multiple, and possibly, remote machines. As with most user interface designs, the challenge is to create a mechanism that is powerful, yet comprehensible, predictable and controllable. A well-designed agent interface would enable users to specify tasks rapidly, be confident that they will get what they want, and have a sense of accomplishment when the job is done.
Shneiderman, B. (January 1995)
The Info Superhighway: For the people
Communications of the ACM, Inside Risks column, vol. 38, 1 (Jan. 1995) 162.
- The opportunities are attractive, but some pavers of the Information Superhighway (ISH) are too eager to pour concrete. They risk making rough roads that will alienate the very users they seek. These technologically-oriented ISH devotees may be building dramatic overpasses and painting stripes without figuring out where the highway should be going. I believe that greater attention should be paid to identifying appropriate services, designing a consistent user interface,
Rosenfeld, A., Marchionini, G., Holliday, W.G., Ricart, G., Faloustos, Dick, J.P., Shneiderman, B. (June 1994)
QUEST: QUery Environment for Science Teaching
Proc. of Digital Libraries '94 (Texas A&M University, College Station, TX) 74-79. Also available at http://atg1.WUSTL.edu/DL94
- This proposal describes our plan, called QUEST (QUery Environment for Science Teaching), to meet the challenge proposed by these visionary thinkers. While we cannot perfect digital libraries within our four year multidisciplinary effort, we believe that our ten research projects and the ambitious testbed development, implementation and evaluation with active users will identify fruitful paths. Our design for QUEST emerged from a novel concept of future libraries, the communities they serve, and a theory of visual information seeking. We are dedicated to universal access and diverse usage, to enabling patrons to become contributors, and to facilitating retrieval and discovery. QUEST will contain massive multimedia resources and will be accessible by the many networks in the National Information Infrastructure. The contents will be automatically analyzed and indexed, thereby facilitating search by users who achieve mastery over the advanced user interfaces that we develop. To realize these goals, we have formulated ten interlocking QUEST research projects: four dealing with building and six with querying. These projects take advantage of established research expertise and reach beyond current paradigms. Our choice of research projects was guided by a desire to produce foundational results that are widely applicable. To validate the outcome of these research projects we will build an extensive testbed, and evaluate its efficacy with our identified user community. QUEST will meet critical library needs of students enrolled in the major testbed site - Prince George's Public Schools, one of the most multiculturally and socio-economically diverse regions in the country, located next to the Northeast sector of Washington, DC. QUEST will provide trained science teachers with networking and query subsystems, allowing them access to information with which to engage and motivate their students in problem-solving science projects_beyond anything possible in today's schools.
Plaisant, C., Ed. (June 1994)
1994 Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports
CS-TR-3531 , CAR-TR-794.
- 80 minutes of video demonstrations from the past year's research. Topics are:
- Introduction and table of contents - Ben Shneiderman, [3:18]
- Visual information seeking using the FilmFinder - Christopher Ahlberg, Ben Shneiderman, [6:12]
- Organization overviews and role management-Inspiration for future desktop environments - Catherine Plaisant, Ben Shneiderman, [9:39]
- Visual decision-making: using treemaps for the analytic hierarchy process - Toshiyuki Asahi, Ben Shneiderman, David Turo, [8:34]
- Visual information management for satellite network configuration - Catherine Plaisant, Harsha Kumar, Marko Teittinen, Ben Shneiderman, [8:49]
- Graphical macros: a technique for customizing any application using pixel-pattern matching-Richard Potter, [9:49]
- Education by engagement and construction: can distance learning be better than face to face?- Ben Shneiderman, [15:00]
- Dynamic queries demos: revised HomeFinder and text version plus health statistics atlas-Ben Shneiderman, [9:40]
- Dynamic Queries are user controlled displays of visual or textual information. Ben Shneiderman presents the HomeFinder (developed by Chris Williamson), followed by the text version (Vinit Jain) and the Health Statistics Atlas (Catherine Plaisant and Vinit Jain).
- CHI '94 slide and video show- [9:12]
Ahlberg, C., Shneiderman, B. (April 1994)
Visual information seeking using the FilmFinder,
Video in CHI '94 Video Program, ACM, New York. A two page video summary also appears in ACM CHI '94 Conference Companion, (Boston, MA, April 24-28, 1994) 433-434. Video also available through HCIL as part of the 1994 HCIL Video Report.
- The FilmFinder allows users to explore a large film database. By applying the dynamic queries approach to filtering information, a continuous starfield display of the films, and tight coupling among the components of the display, the FilmFinder environment encourages incremental and exploratory search.
Shneiderman, B. (October 1994)
The river beyond the rapids: Responsive services for responsible users
Connecting the DOE Community: Partnerships in Information, Info Tech '94 (Oak Ridge, TN, Oct. 25-26,1994) 1-9. Also appears as Comprehensible Predictable, and Controllable User Interfaces in American Programmer, vol.8, 4 (April 1995) 2-7.
- Providing responsive services to all members of our society will require new corporate alliances that put the users and their needs ahead of the pursuit of new technology. Responsive systems are the boats on which responsible users will travel to their work, social communities, and entertainment. With responsive systems users can take responsibility for what they promise to do and derive satisfaction from accomplishing their tasks. The keys to user responsibility are comprehensible, predictable, and controllable interfaces.
Asahi, T., Turo, D., Shneiderman, B. (June 1994)
Using treemaps to visualize the analytic hierarchy process,
Information Systems Rese, vol. 6, 4 (Dec. 1995) 357-375.
CS-TR-3293 , CAR-TR-719, ISR-TR-94-57.
- Treemaps, a visualization method for large hierarchical data spaces, are used to augment the capabilities of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) for decision-making. Two direct manipulation tools, presented metamorphically as a "pump" and a "hook," were developed and applied to the treemap to support AHP sensitivity analysis. A usability study was conducted using a prototype AHP application; results showed that treemap representation of decision-support tools was acceptable for AHP users from both a visualization and data operation standpoint. Subjective preferences were high for AHP treemaps.
Kumar, H., Plaisant, C., Teittinen, M., Shneiderman, B. (June 1994)
Visual information management for network configuration
CS-TR-3288 , CAR-TR-716, ISR-TR-94-45
- Current network management systems rely heavily on forms in their user interfaces. The interfaces reflect the intricacies of the network hardware components but provide little support for guiding users through tasks. There is a scarcity of useful graphical visualizations and decision-support tools. We applied a task-oriented approach to design and implemented the user interface for a prototype network configuration management system. Our user interface provides multiple overviews of the network (with potentially thousands of nodes) and the relevant configuration tasks (queries and updates). We propose a unified interface for exploration, querying, data entry and verification. Compact color-coded treemaps with dynamic queries allowing user-controlled filtering and animation of the data display proved well-suited for representing the multiple containment hierarchies in networks. Our Tree-browser applied the conventional node-link visualization of trees to show hardware containment hierarchies. Improvements to conventional scrollbar-browsers included tightly coupled overviews and detailed views. This visual interface, implemented with Galaxy and the University of Maryland Widget Library TM, has received enthusiastic feedback from the network management community. This application-specific paper has design paradigms that should be useful to designers of varied systems.
Jog, N., Shneiderman, B. (May 1994)
Starfield information visualization with interactive smooth zooming,
IFIP 2.6 Visual Databases Systems Proc. (Lausanne, Switzerland, March 27-29,1995) 1-10.
CS-TR-3286 , CAR-TR-714, ISR-TR-94-46.
- This paper discusses the design and implementation of interactive smooth zooming of a starfield display. A starfield display is a two dimensional scatterplot of a multidimensional database where every item from the database is represented as a small colored glyph whose position is determined by its ranking along ordinal attributes of the items laid out on the axes. One way of navigating this visual information is by using a zooming tool to incrementally zoom in on the items by varying the attribute range on either axis independently - such zooming causes the glyphs to move continuously and to grow or shrink. To get a feeling of flying through the data, users should be able to track the motion of each glyph without getting distracted by flicker or large jumps - conditions that necessitate high display refresh rates and closely spaced glyphs on successive frames. Although the use of high-speed hardware can achieve the required visual effect for small databases, the twin software bottlenecks of rapidly accessing display items and constructing a new display image fundamentally retard the refresh rate. Our work explores several methods to overcome these bottlenecks, presents a taxonomy of various zooming methods and introduces a new widget, the zoom bar, that facilitates zooming.
Shneiderman B., Plaisant, C. (May 1994)
The future of graphic user interfaces: personal role managers
People and Computers IX, British Computer Society's HCI 94 (Glasgow, Scotland, Aug. 1994) CU Press (Cambridge, U.K.) 3-8.
CS-TR-3285 , CAR-TR-713, ISR-TR-94-48
- Personal computer users typically manage hundreds of directories and thousands of files with hierarchically structured file managers, plus archaic cluttered-desktop window managers, and iconic representations of applications. These users must deal with the annoying overhead of window housekeeping and the greater burden of mapping their organizational roles onto unnecessarily rigid hierarchy. An alternate approach is presented, Personal Role Manager (PRM), to structure the screen layout and the interface tools to better match the multiple roles that individuals have in an organization. Each role has a vision statement, schedule, hierarchy of tasks, set of people, and collection of documents.
Plaisant, C., Carr, D., Shneiderman, B. (April 1994)
Image browsers: Taxonomy, guidelines, and informal specifications
IEEE Software, vol.12, 2 (March 1995) 21-32.
CS-TR-3282 , CAR-TR-712, ISR-TR-94-39
- Image browsing is necessary in numerous applications. Designers have merely used two one-dimensional scroll bars or they have made ad hoc designs for a two-dimensional scroll bar. However, the complexity of two-dimensional browsing suggests that more careful analysis, design, and evaluation might lead to significant improvements. We present a task taxonomy for image browsing, suggest design features and guidelines, assess existing strategies, and introduce an informal specification technique to describe the browsers.
Shneiderman, B., Lewis, C. (March 1992)
Building HCI partnerships and infrastructure
Behavior & Information Technology 12, 2, 1993, 130-135.
- As policymakers and technology planners respond to the grow ingactivity in human-computer interaction, a broad perspective maybe helpful. This article offers a top-down view of current activities and suggests opportunities and challenges for the continued growth of HCI. Partnerships among universities, corporations, government agencies, and professional societies are proposed. Infrastructure needs to support this new discipline are outlined.
Plaisant, C., Ed. (June 1993)
1993 Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports
CS-TR-3530 , CAR-TR-793
- Introduction and table of contents - Ben Shneiderman, [4:00]
- Dynamaps: dynamic queries on a health statistics atlas - Catherine Plaisant and Vinit Jain, [6:34]
- Hierarchical visualization with Treemaps: making sense of pro basketball data - Dave Turo, [10:47]
- TreeViz: file directory browsing - Brian Johnson, [10:04]
- HyperCourseware: computer integrated tools in the AT&T Teaching Theater - Kent Norman, [7:08]
- Improving access to medical abstracts: Grateful Med Interface prototype - Gary Marchionini, [6:08]
- Layout appropriateness: guiding interface design with simple task descriptions - Andrew Sears, [4:00]
Jain, V., Shneiderman, B. (revised Sept. 1993)
Data structures for dynamic queries: an analytical and experimental evaluation
Proc. of the Workshop in Advanced Visual Interfaces, AVI 94 ( Bari, Italy, June 1-4, 1994) 1-11. Previous version referenced as CAR-TR-685 CS-TR-3133, ISR-TR-93-73.
CS-TR-3287 , CAR-TR-715, ISR-TR-94-47.
- Dynamic Queries is a querying technique for doing range search on multi-key data sets. It is a direct manipulation mechanism where the query is formulated using graphical widgets and the result s are displayed graphically preferably within 100 milliseconds. This paper evaluates four data structures, the multilist, the grid file, k-d tree and the quad tree used to organize data in high speed storage for dynamic queries. The effect of factors like size, distribution and dimensionality of data on the storage overhead and the speed of search is explored. Analytical models for estimating the storage and the search overheads are presented, and verified to be correct by empirical data. Results indicate that multilists are suitable for small (few thousand points) data sets irrespective of the data distribution. For large data sets the grid files are excellent for uniformly distributed data, and trees are good for skewed data distributions. There was no significant difference in performance between the tree structures.
Ahlberg, C., Shneiderman, B. (Sept. 1993)
The Alphaslider: a compact and rapid selector
ACM CHI '94 Conference Proc. (Boston, MA, April 24-28, 1994) 365-371.
CS-TR-3132 , CAR-TR-684, SRC-TR-93-72.
- Research has suggested that rapid, serial, visual presentation of text (RSVP) may be an effective way to scan and search through lists of text strings in search of words, names, etc. The Alphaslider widget employs RSVP as a method for rapidly scanning and searching lists or menus in a graphical user interface environment. The Alphaslider only uses an area less than 7 x 2.5 cm2. The tiny size of the Alphaslider allows it to be placed on a credit card, on a control panel for a VCR, or as a widget in a direct manipulation based database interface. An experiment was conducted with four Alphaslider designs which showed that novice Alphaslider users could locate one item in a list of 10,000 film titles in 24 seconds on average, an expert user in about 13 seconds.
Ahlberg, C., Shneiderman, B. (Sept. 1993)
Visual Information Seeking: Tight coupling of dynamic query filters with starfield displays
ACM CHI '94 Conference Proc. (Boston, MA, April 24-28, 1994) 313-317. Also appears in Readings in Human-Computer Interaction: Toward the Year 2000, Baeker, R.M., Gruden, J. , Buxton, W.A.S. & Greenberg, S., Eds., Morgan Kaufmann Pubs., Inc., (1995) 450-456, inside back cover.
CS-TR-3131 , CAR-TR-638, SRC-TR-93-71
- This paper offers new principles for visual information seeking (VIS). A key concept is to support browsing, which is distinguished from familiar query composition and information retrieval because of its emphasis on rapid filtering to reduce result sets, progressive refinement of search parameters, continuous reformulation of goals, and visual scanning to identify results. VIS principles developed include: dynamic query filters (query parameters are rapidly adjusted with sliders, buttons, maps, etc.), starfield displays (two-dimensional scatterplots to structure result sets and zooming to reduce clutter), and tight coupling (interrelating query components to preserve display invariants and support progressive refinement combined with an emphasis on using search output to foster search input). A FilmFinder prototype using a movie database demonstrates these principles in a VIS environment.
Shneiderman, B. (1993)
Preface to Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction
Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, B. Shneiderman, Ed., Ablex Publ. (1993) 385 pages. ACM Interactions, vol. 1, 1 (Jan. 1994) 67-71.
- The occasion for this book is the 10th Anniversary of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) at the University of Maryland. I have selected two dozen key papers from more than a hundred to repersent the work of many participants. My section introductions tell how we do what we do, including some of our failures and background stories that are not appropriate for journal papers. Many papers are trimmed to emphasize the cogent points. They weave together the threads of our work into a unified fabric that reveals the patterns of developement. It was difficult to choose the best papers; these exemplify different research method-ologies and show the maturation of thuman-computer interaction research. This book is a tribute to the faculty, staff, visitors, and students who have shared in a decade of work.
Overview: fuel for a new discipline
Introduction: supporting the process of innovation
1. Direct manipulation
1.1 Direct manipulation: a step beyond programming languages, Ben Shneiderman
1.2 A study of file manipulation by novices using commands vs. direct manipulation, Sepeedeh Margono, Ben Shneiderman
1.3 Remote direct manipulation: a case study of a telemedicine workstation, Richard Keil-Slawik, Catherine Plaisant, Ben Shneiderman
2. Menu selection
2.1 Embedded menus: selecting items in context, Larry Koved, Ben Shneiderman
2.2 An empirical comparison of pie vs. linear menus, Jack Callahan Don Hopkins, Mark Weiser, Ben Shneiderman
2.3 Time stress effects on two menu selection systems, Daniel F. Wallace, Nancy S. Anderson, Ben Shneiderman
3.1 Finding facts vs. browsing knowledge in hypertext systems, Gary Marchionini, Ben Shneiderman
3.2 Restructuring knowledge for an electronic encyclopedia, Charles B. Kreitzberg, Ben Shneiderman
3.3 The Electronic Teaching Theater: interactive hypermedia & mental models of the classroom, Kent L. Norman
4.1 Improving the accuracy of touchscreens: an experimental evaluationof three strategies, Richard L. Potter, Linda J. Weldon, Ben Shneiderman
4.2 High precision touchscreens: design strategies and comparisons with a mouse, Andrew Sears, Ben Shneiderman
4.3 Touchscreens now offer compelling uses, Ben Shneiderman
4.4 Touchscreen interfaces for alphanumeric data entry, Catherine Plaisant, Andrew Sears
4.5 Scheduling home control devices: a case study of the transition from the research project to a product, Catherine Plaisant, Ben Shneiderman, Jim Battaglia
5. Public access
5.1 Guide to Opportunities in Volunteer Archaeology: case study on the use of a hypertext system , in a museum exhibit, Catherine Plaisant
5.2 Evaluating three museum installations of a hypertext system, Ben Shneiderman, Dorothy Brethauer, Catherine Plaisant, Richard Potter
5.3 ACCESS at the Library of Congress, Gary Marchionini, Maryle Ashley, Lois Korzendorfer
5.4 User interface consistency: an evaluation of original and revised interfaces for a videodisk library, Richard Chimera, Ben Shneiderman
6. Information visualization: dynamic queries, treemaps, and the filter/flow metaphor
6.1 Dynamic Queries for information exploration: an implementation and evaluation, Christopher Ahlberg, Christopher Williamson, Ben Shneiderman
6.2 The Dynamic HomeFinder: evaluating Dynamic Queries in a real-estate information exploration system, Christopher Williamson, Ben Shneiderman
6.3 Treemaps: a space-filling approach to the visualization of hierarchical information structures, Brian Johnson, Ben Shneiderman
7. Essays and explorations
7.1 A nonanthropomorphic style guide: overcoming the Humpty Dumpty syndrome, Ben Shneiderman
7.2 Human values and the future of technology: a declaration of responsibility, Ben Shneiderman
7.3 Engagement and construction: educational strategies for the post-TV era, Ben Shneiderman
7.4 Protecting rights in user interface designs, Ben Shneiderman
7.5 Declaration in Apple vs. Microsoft/Hewlett-Packard, Ben Shneiderman
Shneiderman, B. (1993)
Declaration in Apple vs. Microsoft/Hewlett-Packard
Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, B. Shneiderman, Ed., Ablex Publ. (1993) 355-363.
- I, Ben Shneiderman, declare as follows:
- I am a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Head of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland at College Park. My background and qualifications are detailed in my declaration of March 30, 1990 that previously was filed in this action.
- I am making this supplemental declaration to provide further examples of design alternatives referred to in my prior declarations and to further identify the arrangement that is unique to Apple and that makes the overall appearance of the Lisa/Macintosh interface widely recognizable.
- The Macintosh "Look and Feel." To understand the distinctive appearance of the Macintosh interface, known as the Macintosh "look and feel" or "the Macintosh look", one needs to consider not only the individual elements that make up the appearance of the interface but also the way those elements are arranged and interact with one another to create the consistent and distinctive Macintosh interface. One way to describe that look and feel is by reference to the folowing main features of the Macintosh interface. The alphanumeric designations appearing in bracket correspond to items from Apple's list of similarities.
United States District Court, Northern District of Calif., Jack E. Brown, Lois W. Abraham, Chris R. Ottenweller, Martin L. Lagod, Brown & Bain; Bernard Petrie, Attorneys for Plaintiff, Apple Computer, Inc.; APPLE COMPUTER, INC., Plaintiff, vs. MCROSOFT CORP. & HEWLETT-PACKARD CO. , Defendants, April 1992.
Chimera, R., Shneiderman, B. (1993)
User interface consistency: an evaluation of original and revised interfaces for a videodisk library
Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, B. Shneiderman, Ed., Ablex Publ. (1993) 259-273.
- Original and revised versions of the National Library of Medicine MicroAnatomy Visual Library system were evaluated with an empirical test of nineteen subjects. The versions of the program's interface differed on issues relating to consistency of wording and screen layout, use of color coding, display of status information, and availability of help information. Each subject used both versions of the program to perform matched sets of tasks. The dependent variables were time to perform tasks correctly and subjective satisfaction as reported via the QUIS questionnaire. The revised version was statistically significantly faster for five of twenty tasks and more satisfying to use on a number of dimensions. The benefits of consistency and guidelines for design of interactive computer systems are discussed.
Marchionini, G., Ashley, M., Korzendorfer, L. (1993)
ACCESS at the Library of Congress
Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, B. Shneiderman, Ed., Ablex Publ., Norwood, NJ (1993) 251-258.
- Supporting patron access to library collections requires significant resources in all types of libraries. Card catalogs and reference librarians have traditionally assisted patrons in locating materials related to their information needs and the development of online public access catalogs (OPACs) has begun to affect both of these patron resources (Hildreth, 1982). Many libraries have invested heavily in OPACs in spite of the many problems they present to library patrons. Patrons have difficulty using the computer workstations, formulating queries appropriate to the OPAC command language, and interpreting feedback from the system (Borgman, 1986). In many libraries, reference staff who hoped that OPACs would allow them to assist patrons with challenging information problems have found themselves spending large amounts of time assisting patrons in the mechanics of using the OPAC. This problem is likely to be an ongoing one since patrons in public and academic libraries are what may be termed "casual" rather than "regular" users. The challenges of OPACs are particularly critical at the Library of Congress (LC), a premier library in the world and host to patrons from all walks of life and experience. The Library was a pioneer in automating bibliographic records and has long provided electronic access to its catalog. Patrons to the library are often visitors to Washington, D.C. who spend a short amount of time using the library and do not want to invest time learning to use the system.
Osada, M., Liao, H., Shneiderman, B. (April 1993)
AlphaSlider: development and evaluation of text retrieval method using sliders
9th Symposium on Human Interface (Kobe, Japan, Oct. 18-20, 1993) 91-94.
CS-TR-3078 , CAR-TR-673, ISR-93-52.
- AlphaSlider is a query interface that uses a direct manipulation slider to select words, phrases, or names from an existing list. This paper introduces a prototype of AlphaSlider, describes the design issues, reports on an experimental evaluation, and offers directions for further research. The experiment tested 24 subjects selecting items from lists of 40, 80, 160, and 320 entries. Mean selection times only doubled with the 8-fold increase in list length. Users quickly accommodated to this selection method.
Shneiderman, B. (March 1993)
Education by engagement and construction: experiences in the AT&T Teaching Theater
AACE (Charlotesville, VA) Education Multimedia and Hypermedia Annual, Maurer, H., Ed., 1993, Ed-Media 93 (Orlando, FL, June 23-26, 1993) 471-479.
- Novel technologies can stimulate innovative solutions to traditional problems. During the past two years I have been challenged to revise my notions of learning because I have been teaching in the AT&T Teaching Theater at the University of Maryland. This unique classroom was designed to enable instructors and students to explore new strategies, by supporting extensive use of media, computing, and network supported collaboration.
Shneiderman, B. (April 1993)
Engagement and construction: education strategies for the post-TV era.
Computer Assisted Learning, International Conference on Computers and Learning, (Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, June 17-20, 1992) 39-45. Also Journal of Computing in Higher Education, vol. 4 (2) (Spring 1993) 106-116. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 345-350.
- We all remember the empty faces of students seated in rows, intermittently taking notes, and trying to retain disjointed facts. This old lecture style seems as antiquated as a 19th century clockwork mechanism; familiar and charming, but erratic and no longer adequate. The orderly structure of industrial age mechanisms and the repetitiveness of the assembly line are giving way to the all-at-once immediacy of McLuhan's non-linear electrified global village [McL64]. The early electronic media such as radio, stereos, and television have created a snap-crackle-and-popular culture that is enjoyable, but passive. The post-TV era will be different. Computing and communication technologies offer opportunities for engagement with other people and the power too ls to construct remarkable artifacts and experiences. Educators can now create engaging processes for their students that will motivate them to work together and explore the frontiers of knowledge. Students from elementary schools through college can apply computing technology (word processors, spreadsheets, databases, drawing programs, design tools, music composition software, etc.) to construct high quality products that they can proudly share with others. Advanced communications tools (electronic mail, network access, bulletin board systems, videotape recorders, TV broadcasts) support engagement among students, connection to the external world, information gathering, and dissemination of results.
Shneiderman, B. (Sept. 1993)
Beyond intelligent machines: just do it!,
IEEE Software, vol. 10, 1 (Jan 1993) 100-103.
Shneiderman, B. (Jan. 1993)
Dynamic Queries: for visual information seeking,
IEEE Software, vol. 11, 6 (Nov. 1994) 70-77.
CS-TR-3022 , CAR-TR-655, SRC-TR-93-3.
- Dynamic queries are a novel approach to information seeking that may enable users to cope with information overload. They allow users to see an overview of the database, rapidly (100 msec updates) explore and conveniently filter out unwanted information. Users fly through information spaces by incrementally adjusting a query (with sliders, buttons, and other filters) while continuously viewing the changing results. Dynamic queries on the chemical table of elements, computer directories, and a real estate database were built and tested in three separate exploratory experiments. These results show statistically significant performance improvements and user enthusiasm more commonly seen with video games. Widespread application seems possible but research issues remain in database and display algorithms, and user interface design. Challenges include methods for rapidly displaying and changing many points, colors, and areas; multi-dimensional pointing; incorporation of sound and visual display techniques that increase user comprehension; and integration with existing database systems.
Plaisant, Ed. (June 1992)
1992 Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports,
CS-TR-3529 , CAR-TR-792
- Introduction - Ben Shneiderman, [3:00] Dynamic Queries: database searching by direct manipulation - Ben Shneiderman, Chris Williamson, Christopher Ahlberg, [10:55] Treemaps for visualizing hierarchical information - Ben Shneiderman, Brian Johnson, Dave Turo, [11:25] Three strategies for directory browsing - Rick Chimera, [10:30] Filter-Flow metaphor for boolean queries - Degi Young, Ben Shneiderman, [6:35] The AT&T Teaching Theater: active learning through computer supported collaborative courseware - Kent Norman, [8:25] ACCESS: an online public access catalog at the Library of Congress - Gary Marchionini, [8:15] Remote Direct Manipulation: a telepathology workstation - Catherine Plaisant, Dave Carr, [7:30] Guiding automation with pixels: a technique for programming in the user interface - Richard Potter, [11:50]
Kuah, B.-T., Shneiderman, B. (Nov. 1992)
Providing advisory notices for UNIX command users: design, implementation, and empirical evaluations,
CS-TR-3007 , CAR-TR-651
- UNIX Notices (UN) was developed to study the problems in providing advice to users of complex systems. The issues studied were: what, when, and how to present the advice. The first experiment with 24 subjects examined how different presentation styles affect the effectiveness of UN's advice. The three presentation styles studied were: notice appears in separate window; notice appears only on request; notice appears in use r's window immediately. The results showed that the third style was significantly more effective than the first style. Furthermore, the results indicated that the most effective presentation method is also the most disruptive. The second experiment with 29 subjects studied how delay in the advice feedback affects the performance of UN. The treatments were: immediate feedback, feedback at end of session, and no feedback. Over a period of 6 weeks, the commands entered by the s ubjects were logged and studied. The results showed that immediate feedback caused subjects to repeat significantly fewer inefficient command sequences. However, immediate feedback and feedback at end of session may have given subjects a negative feelin g towards UNIX.
Sears, A., Shneiderman, B. (Nov. 1992)
Split menus: effectively using selection frequency to organize menus,
ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, vol. 1, 1 (March 1994) 27-51.
CS-TR-2997 , CAR-TR-649
- When some items in a menu are selected more frequently than others, as is often the case, designers or individual users may be able to speed performance and improve satisfaction by placing several high-frequency items at the top of the menu. Design guid elines for split menus were developed and applied. Split menus were implemented and tested in two field studies and a controlled experiment. In the field study conditions performance times were reduced from 17 or 58% depending on the site and menus. In the controlled experiment split menus were significantly faster than alphabetic menus and yielded significantly higher subjective preferences. A possible resolution to the continuing debate among cognitive theorists about predicting menu selection times is offered. We conjecture and offer evidence that the logarithmic model applies to familiar (high-frequency) items and the linear model applies to unfamiliar (low-frequency) items.
Karl, L., Pettey, M., Shneiderman, B. (July 1992)
Speech versus mouse commands for word processing: an empirical evaluation,
International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, vol. 39, 4 (Oct. 1993) 667-687.
CS-TR-2925 , CAR-TR-630, SRC-TR-92-86.
- Despite advances in speech technology, human factors research since the late 1970's has provided only weak evidence that automatic speech recognition devices are superior to conventional input devices such as keyboards and mice. However, recent studies indicate that there may be advantages to providing an additional input channel based on speech input to supplement the more common input modes. Recently the authors conducted an experiment to demonstrate the advantages of using speech-activated commands over mouse-activated commands for word processing applications when, in both cases, the keyboard is used for text entry and the mouse for direct manipulation. Sixteen experimental subjects, all professional and all but one novice users of speech input, p erformed four simple word processing tasks using both input groups in this counterbalanced experiment. Performance times for all tasks were significantly faster when using speech to activate commands as opposed to using the mouse. On average, the reduct ion in task time due to using speech was 18.67%. The error rates due to subject mistakes were roughly the same for bothinput groups, and recognition errors, averaged over all the tasks, occurred for 6.25% of the speech-activated commands. Subjects made significantly more memorization errors when using speech as compared with the mouse for command activation. Overall, the subjects reacted positively to using speech input and preferred it over the mouse for command activation, however, they also voiced c oncerns about recognition accuracy, the interference of background noise, inadequate feedback and slow response time. The authors believe that the results of the experiment provide guidance for implementors and evidence for the utility of speech input fo r command activation in application programs.
Young, D., Shneiderman, B. (May 1992)
A graphical filter/flow representation of boolean queries: a prototype implementation and evaluation,
Journal of American Society for Information Science, vol. 44, 6, (July 1993) 327-339.
CS-TR-2905 , CAR-TR-627
- One of the powerful applications of boolean expression is to allow users to extract relevant information from a database. Unfortunately, previous research has shown that users have difficulty specifying boolean queries. In an attempt to overcome this l imitation, a graphical Filter/Flow representation of boolean queries was designed to provide users with an interface that visually conveys the meaning of the boolean operators (AND, OR and NOT). This was accomplished by implementing a graphical interface prototype that uses the metaphor of water flowing through filters. Twenty subjects with no experience with boolean logic participated in an experiment comparing the boolen operations represented in the Filter/Flow interface with a text-only SQL interfac e. The subjects independently performed five comprehension tasks and five composition tasks in each of the interfaces. A significant difference (p <0.05) in the total number of correct queries in each of the comprehension and composition tasks was foun d favoring Filter/Flow.
Rivlin, E., Botafogo, R., Shneiderman, B. (March 1992)
Navigating in hyperspace: designing a structure based toolbox,
Communications of the ACM, vol. 37, 2, (Feb. 1994) 87-96.
CS-TR-2861 , CAR-TR-606
- Analyzing the structure of a hypertext database can give useful information to the traveler in hyperspace. We present a preliminary collection of structural tools for users of hypertext systems. These tools can suggest answers to questions like: Where am I ? How can I choose and get to my destination? What else is in my current neighborhood? etc. Structure is imposed on the hypertext by using two processes: hierarchization and cluster identification. Several metrics are presented and used in the above processes for locating landmarks and getting global information on the hypertext structure. The structural analysis is integrated with previous attempts to reduce the users' disorientation while navigating the hyperspace. An integration with fish eye views and tree-maps is presented.
Liao, H., Osada, M., Shneiderman, B. (Feb. 1992)
Browsing Unix directories with Dynamic Queries: An evaluation of three information display techniques,
9th Symposium on Human Interface (Kobe, Japan, Oct. 18-20, 1993) 95-98.
CS-TR-2841 , CAR-TR-605
- We designed, implemented, and evaluated an innovative concept for dynamic queries which involves the direct manipulation of small databases. Our domain was directories in a Unix file system. Dynamic queries allow users to formulate queries and explore the databases with graphical widgets, such as sliders and buttons, without requiring them to have any knowledge about the underlying structure of the database query languages, or command language syntax. Three interfaces for browsing directories were dev eloped and tested with eighteen subjects in a within-subject design. The results of the formative evaluation yielded some useful guidelines for software designers.
Williamson, C., Shneiderman, B. (Jan. 1992)
The dynamic HomeFinder: Evaluating dynamic queries in a real-estate information exploration system,
Proc. ACM SIGIR `92 (Copenhagen, June 21-24, 1992) 338-346. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 295-307.
CS-TR-2819 , CAR-TR-602
- We designed, implemented, and evaluated a new concept for visualizing and searching databases utilizing direct manipulation called dynamic queries. Dynamic queries allow users to formulate queries by adjusting graphical widgets, such as slider, and see the results immediately. By providing a graphical visualization of the database and search results, users can find trends and excptions easily, User testing was done with eighteen undergraduate students who performed significantly faster using a dynamic queries interface compared to both a natural language system and paper printouts. The interfaces were used to explore a real-estate database and find homes meeting specific search criteria.
Plaisant, C., Ed. (June 1991)
1991 Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory Video Reports,
CS-TR-3528 , CAR-TR-791
- Introduction - Ben Shneiderman, Scheduling home control devices - Catherine Plaisant, Ben Shneiderman, Touchscreen toggles - Catherine Plaisant, A home automation system - Reuel Launey (Custom Command Systems), PlayPen II (now known as PenPlay II): A novel fingerpainting program - Andrew Sears, Ben Shneiderman, Touchscreen keyboards - Andrew Sears, Ben Shneiderman, Pie menus - Don Hopkins, Three interfaces for browsing tables of contents - Rick Chimera
Shneiderman, B. (1991)
Education by engagement and construction: A strategic education initiative for a multimedia renewal of American education,
Sociomedia: Multimedia, Hypermedia, and the Social Construction of Knowledge, Barrett, E., Ed., MIT Press (1992) 13-26.
- We can renew American education by offering students the opportunity to develop skills, experiences, and values they need to become successful individuals, workers, family members, and societal contributors. They can have fun while learning and gain sat isfaction from meaningful accomplishments. The Strategic Education Initiantive is a five year, $100 billion plan to help transform American education, provide powerful tools for teachers, promote advanced technology, and make schools more meaningul. Dynamic multimedia, novel user interfaces, powerful computing facilities, and international networks can empower teachers and students in remarkable ways. These technologies can support teachers in fostering student engagement with peers and outsiders, and construction of projects that contribute to a better world. these approaches also promote each student's self-worth while learning the subject material. I believe that as teacher effectiveness increases and learning becomes interactive, creation gen erates satisfaction, process and product become entwined, and cooperation builds community.
Shneiderman, B., Williamson, C., Ahlberg, C. (Nov. 1991)
Dynamic queries: Database searching by direct manipulation,
Video in CHI `92 Video Program (Monterey, CA, May 3-7, 1992) Available through ACM SIGGRAPH Video Review, issue 77, ACM, New York. A two page video summary appears in CHI' 92 Proceedings, 669-670. Video also available through HCIL as part of the href="http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/pubs/video92.html"> 1992 HCIL Video Report.
- This video explores the application of direct manipulation to information exploration. Specifically, it introduces the idea of a dynamic query, which empowers the user to search a database of information in the task domain while requiring minimal syntax or computer knowledge. Key features that separate a dynamic query from current information retreival systems are its direct manipulative nature, providing immediate search feedback with object interaction, and a harmonious display of the query and resul ts in a graphical environment appropriate for the task domain. Two different applications of dynamic queries are demonstrated: an education tool to explore the periodic table of elements and a hands-on system to help prospective home buyers find a home.
Plaisant,C., Sears, A. (Sept. 1991)
Touchscreen interfaces for alphanumeric data entry,
Proc. of the Human Factors Society - 36th Annual Meeting, vol. 1, (Atlanta, GA, Oct. 12-16, 1992) 293-297. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 195-204. Also Human Factors Perspectiv
es on Human-Computer Interaction, Selections from Proc. of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meetings 1983-1994, Perlman, G., Green, G.K., Wogalter, M.S., Eds. (1995) 261-265.
CS-TR-2764 , CAR-TR-585
- In cases when only limited alphanumeric data must be entered, or when layout, labeling, or size may be changed, traditional keyboards may not be optimal. A series of experiments has demonstrated the usability of touchscreen keyboards. We give a summary of the existing data concerning the usability of touchscreen keyboards including typing rates for experts and novices on keyboards of various sizes. We also report on a recent study done with representative users. Results indicate that typing rates inc rease rapidly reaching peak performance after only 25 minutes of use. Practical suggestions for the design of such a keyboard are also presented.
Ahlberg, C., Williamson, C., Shneiderman, B. (Sept. 1991)
Dynamic queries for information exploration: An implementation and evaluation,
ACM CHI `92 Conference Proc. (Monterey, CA, May 3-7, 1992) 619-626. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 281-294.
CS-TR-2763 , CAR-TR-584
- We designed, implemented and evaluated a new concept for direct manipulation of databases, called dynamic queries, that allows users to formulate queries with graphical widgets, such as sliders. By providing a graphical visualization of the database and search results, users can find trends and exceptions easily. Eighteen undergraduate chemistry students performed statistically significantly faster using a dynamic queries interface compared to two interfaces both providing form fill-in as input method, o ne with graphical visualization output and one with all-textual output. The interfaces were used to expore the periodic table of elements and search on their properties.
Shneiderman, B. (July 1991)
Visual user interfaces for information exploration,
1991 ASIS Proc., 379-384.
CS-TR-2748 , CAR-TR-577
- The next generation of database management, directory browsing, information retrieval, hypermedia, scientific data management, and library systems can enable convenient exploration of growing information spaces by a wider range of users. User interface designers can provide more powerful search techniques, more comprehensible query facilities, better presentation methods, and smoother integration of technology with task. This paper offers novel graphical and direct manipulation approaches to query formu lation and information presentation/manipulation. These approaches include a graphical approach to restricted boolean query formulation based on generalization/aggregation hierarchies, a filter/flow metaphor for complete boolean expressions, dynamic quer y methods with continuous visual presentation of results as the query is changed (possibly employing parallel computation), and color-coded 2-dimensional space-filling tree-maps that present multiple-level hierarchies in a single display (hundreds of dire ctories and more than a thousand files can be seen at once).
Weiland, W., Shneiderman, B. (July 1991)
A graphical query interface based on aggregation/generalization hierarchies,
Information Systems, vol. 18, 4 (1993) 215-232.
CS-TR-2702 , CAR-TR-562
- In order for automated information systems to be used effectively, they must be made easily accessible to a wide range of users and with short training periods. This work proposes a method of organizing documents based on the concepts of aggregation and generalization hierarchies. We propose a graphical user interface to provide a more intuitive form of Boolean query. This design is based on mapping the nodes of the aggregation hierarchy to Boolean union operations, and providing a concrete, graphical , manipulable representation of both of these node types. Finally, a working prototype interface is constructed and evaluated experimentally against a classical command-line Boolean query interface. In this experimental study, the graphical interface sh ows less than one-tenth of the error rate of the textual interface, on average. No significant differences in time spent specifying queries are found between the two interface types.
Sears, A., Revis, D., Swatski, J., Crittenden, R., Shneiderman, B. (April 1991)
Investigating touchscreen typing: The effect of keyboard size on typing speed,
Behavior & Information Technology, vol. 12, 1 (Jan-Feb 1993) 17-22.
CS-TR-2662 , CAR-TR-553
- This study investigated the effect keyboard size has on typing speed and error rates for touchscreen keyboards. Four keyboard sizes were investigated ranging from 24.5 cm to 6.8 cm wide (23% larger to 64% smaller than standard keyboards). Results indic ate that novices can type approximately 9 words per minute (WPM) on the smallest keyboard and 20 WPM on the largest. Users with moderate experience with the keyboards improved to 21 WPM on the smallest keyboard and 32 WPM on the largest. These results i ndicate that although slower, very small touchscreen keyboards are possible and can be used for limited data entry when the presence of a regular keyboard is not practical. Results also indicate the increased importance of experience on these smaller key boards. Possible research directions are suggested.
Johnson, B., Shneiderman, B. (April 1991)
Treemaps: a space-filling approach to the visualization of hierarchical information structures,
Proc. of the 2nd International IEEE Visualization Conference (San Diego, Oct. 1991) 284-291. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 309-322.
CS-TR-2657 , CAR-TR-552, SRC-92-62.
- This research concerns a novel method for the visualization of hierarchically structured information called Tree-Maps. The visualization technique makes use of 100% of the available display space, mapping the full hierarchy onto a rectangular window in a space-filling manner. This efficient use of space allows very large hierarchies to be displayed in their entirety and facilitates the presentation of semantic information. It is hoped that this approach to the visualization of hierarchical information will produce benefits similar to those achieved by visualization in other areas.
Keil-Slawik, R., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (April 1991)
Remote direct manipulation: A case study of a telemedicine workstation,
Human Aspects in Computing: Design and Use of Interactive Systems and Information Management, 4th Int. Conf. on HCI (Stuttgart, Sept. 91) 1006-1011. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993)
CS-TR-2655 , CAR-TR-551
- This paper describes our experience with the design of a remote pathologist`s workstation. We illustrate how our effort to apply direct manipulation principles led us to explore remote direct manipulation designs. The use of computer and communication systems to operate devices remotely introduces new challenges for users and designers. In addition to the usual concerns, the activation delays, reduced feedback, and increased potential for breakdowns mean that designers must be especially careful and c reative. The user interface design is closely linked to the total system design.
Botafogo, R., Shneiderman, B. (April 1991)
Identifying aggregates in hypertext structures,
ACM Proc.of Hypertext `91 (San Antonio, TX, Dec. 15-18) 63-74.
CS-TR-2650 , CAR-TR-550
- Hypertext systems are being used in many applications because of their flexible structure and the great browsing freedom they give to diverse communities of users. However, this same freedom and flexibility is the cause of one of its main problem: the " lost in hyperspace" problem. One reason for the complexity of hypertext databases is the large number of nodes and links that compose them. To simplify this structure we propose that nodes and links be clustered forming more abstract structures. An abs traction is the concealment of all but relevant properties from an object or concept. One type of abstraction is called an aggregate. An aggregate is a set of distinct concepts that taken together form a more abstract concept. For example, two legs, a trunk, two arms and a head can be aggregate together in a single higher level object called a "body." In this paper we will study the hypertext structure, i.e., the way nodes are linked to each other in order to find aggregates in hypertext databases. T wo graph theoretical algorithms will be used: biconnected components and strongly connected components.
Shneiderman, B. (March 1991)
Tree visualization with treemaps: a 2-d space-filling approach,
ACM Transactions on Graphics, vol. 11, 1 (Jan. 1992) 92-99.
CS-TR-2645 , CAR-TR-548
- The traditional approach to representing tree structures is as a rooted, directed graph with the root node at the top of the page and children nodes below the parent node with lines connecting them has a long discussion about this standard representation , especially why the root is at the top and he offers several alternatives including brief mention of a space-fillling approach . However, the remainder of his presentation and most other discussions of trees focus on various node and edge representiatio n. By contrast, this paper deals with a two-dimensional (2-) space-filling approach in which each node is a rectangle whose area is proportional to some attribute such as node size.
Shneiderman, B. (March 1991)
Touch screens now offer compelling uses,
IEEE Software 8, 2, (March 1991) 93-94, 107. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 187-193.
- A brief review of the advantages of high precision touchscreens with dragging and lift-off. Examples and screen prints show home scheduling, message board, fingerpainting, and small touchscreen keyboards. Suggestions for novel directions are offered.
Chimera, R., Wolman, K., Mark, S., Shneiderman B. (revised Sept. 1993)
An exploratory evaluation of three interfaces for browsing large hierarchical tables of contents,
ACM Transactions on Information Systems, vol.12., 4 (Oct. 94) 383-406.
CS-TR-2620 , CAR-TR-539
- Three different interfaces were used to browse a medium (174 items) and large (1296 items) table of contents. A fully expanded stable interface, expand/contract interface, and multi-pane interface were studied in a between-subject experiment with 41 nov ice participants. Timed fact retrieval and incidental learning tasks were performed, and subjective satisfaction ratings were collected. We found that both the expand/contract and multi-pane interfaces produced significantly faster performance times tha n the stable interface for large hierarchies; other advantages of the expand/contract and multi-pane interfaces over the stable interface are discussed. The importance of animation characteristics of the expand/contract interface is explained. Further r esearch on extended features of the multi-pane and expand/contract interfaces is covered.
Norman, K., (June 1990)
The electronic teaching theater: interactive hypermedia and mental models of the classroom,
Current Psychology: Research & Reviews, Summer 90, vol. 9, 2, 141-161. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 133-151.
- The introduction of hypermedia into the classroom presents both an opportunity to expand the power of teaching through electronic facilitation of the media and a challange to redesign the classroom and instructional environment to exploit the enhanced fe atures of hypermedia. This paper briefly surveys the current state of computers in the classroom and then argues that a more integrated approach is required. To this end, the concept of an electronic teaching theater is proposed which takes advantage of hypermedia and collaborative work environments. The aim of the electronic teaching theater is not to totally redesign the classroom and instructional interaction, but rather to facilitate it using well understood metaphores to lay out the dynamics of cl assroom interaction on the electronic media and to use the results from research in human/computer to design the interface. To facilitate the application of hypermedia, a model of instructional interaction among tyhe student, the instructios, the course material, and the products of instruction is presented. A number of component models pertaining to course preparation, lectures, note taking, and other instructional activities are then discussed that should prove useful in designing the electronic class room. The origin of these models is the mental representation of the interaction as perceived by the teacher and the student. The idea is to start with such models as a base metaphor, to intstantiate the metaphors in the electronic classroom, and then t o explore innovations in the technology that go beyond the strict application of the metaphor.
Shneiderman, B. (Oct. 1990)
Protecting rights in user interface designs,
ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, Oct. 1990. Excerpt of this paper also appeared as: Intellectual protection for user interfaces?, Communications of the ACM, 34, 4, (April 1991) 13-14. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneider
man, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 351-354.
- Sacrificing individual rights in the hope of benefiting the public good is a tempting, but often misguided pursuit. I believe that protecting individual rights (civil, voting, privacy, intellectual property, etc.) is usually the best way to advance the public good. The current policy debate rages over the merits of offering intellectual property protection to user interface designs. While most commentators agree that copyright is appropriate for books, songs, artwork, and evenuseful items such as engineering drawi ngs and maps, some are reluctant to offer such protection for user interfaces. These critics argue strenuously that intellectual protection for interfaces is "monopolistic"--that it would have a destructive effect on the public good by li miting dessemin ation of useful innovations and inhibiting standardization. These critics claim that traditional individual and corporate rights to creative works should be denied to user interface designers.
Botafogo, R., Rivlin, E., Shneiderman, B. (Dec. 1990)
Structural analysis of hypertexts: identifying hierarchies and useful metrics,
ACM Transactions on Information Systems, vol. 10, 2, April 1992, 142-180.
CS-TR-2574 , CAR-TR-526
- In hypertext databases users often suffer from the well known problem of getting "lost in hyperspace." An approach to solve this problem consists of improving authoring. This paper proposes several authoring tools, based on database structure analysis. In many hypertext systems authors are encouraged to create hierarchiacal structures, but when writing, the hierarchy is lost becouse of the inclusion of cross-reference links. The first part of this paper will look at ways of recovering lost hierarchies and finding new ones, offering authors different views of the same database. The second part helps authors by identifying properties of the database. Multilple metrics are developed: among them the compactness and stratum. The compactness indicates th e intrinsic complexity of the databse and the stratum reveals to what degree the database is organized so that some nodes should be read before others. Several from existing databases are used to illustrate the benefits of each tool. The collection of th ese tools provides a multifaceted view of the database and should allow authors to identify weaknesses in their database's structure and create better documents which users will be able to traverse more easily.
Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B., Battaglia, J. (1990)
Scheduling home-control devices: a case study of the transition from the research project to a product,
Human Factors in Practice, Computer Systems Technical Group, Human Factors Society (Santa Monica, CA, Dec. 1990) 7-13. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 205-215.
- This case study describes the transition from a research project on scheduling home-control devices to a product integrated in an existing home automation system. First we describe the research that explored several designs to schedule devices over time periods ranging from minutes to days: four designs were compared, three of them prototyped and tested. One of the designs was selected for implementation in the commercial system. We then categorize the actions that were taken in order to improve and mold the prototype design into an integrated product. Finally we report on an additional study that emerged from the first one - the scheduling of periodic events - and on the extensions of the scheduler interface design to other aspects of home automat ion.
Plaisant, C. (Nov. 1990)
Guide to opportunities in volunteer archaeology - case study of the use of a hypertext system in a museum exhibit,
Hypertext/Hypermedia Handbook, Berk E. & Devlin, J., Eds., McGraw-Hill (1991) 498-505. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 223-229.
CS-TR-2559 , CAR-TR-523
- This case study shows how a hypertext system was used in a traveling exhibit of the Smithsonian Institution. The database about archaeology was constructed by a professor and students of the history department of the University of Maryland. Regular upd ates of the database were made for each new venue of the exhibit. Finally the database was translated into French and automatically rebuilt to be used in Canada. Helpful features of the hypertext system as well as the difficulties encountered are describ ed. System users were observed in the museum and collected usage data was analyzed.
Shneiderman B. (Sept. 1990)
Human values and the future of technology: a declaration of responsibility,
keynote address for the ACM SIGCAS 90 Conference: Computers and the Quality of Life. Also in the ACM SIGCHI Bulletin (Jan. 1991). Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 337-343.
- "We must learn to balance the material wonders of technology with the spiritual demands of our human nature." John Naisbitt (1982). We can make a difference in shaping the future by ensuring that computers "serve human needs (Mumford, 1934)." By making explicit the enduring values that we hold dear we can guide computer system designers and developers for the next decade, century, a nd thereafter. After setting our high-level goals we can pursue the components and seek the participatory process for fulfilling them. High-level goals might include peace, excellent health care, adequate nutrition, accessible education, communication, freedom of expression, support for creative exploration, safety, and socially constructive entertainment. Computer technology can help attain these high-level goals if we clearly state measurable objectives, obtain participation of professionals, and design effective human-computer interfaces. Design considerations include adequate attention to individual differences among users, suppor t of social and organizational structures, design for reliability and safety, provision of access by the elderly, handicapped, or illiterate, and appropriate user controlled adaptation. With suitable theories and empirical research we can achieve ease of learning, rapid performance, low error rates, and good retention overtime, while preserving high subjective satisfaction.
Jones, T., Shneiderman, B. (July 1990)
Examining usability for a training oriented hypertext: can hyper-activity be good?,
Electronic Publishing, vol. 3 (4) (Nov. 1990) 207-225.
CS-TR-2499 , CAR-TR-509
- This paper describes the design and evaluation of a hypertext-based tutorial for hypertext authors. This 85-article tutorial represents an innovative application of hypertext to procedural learning. The work has been guided by Carroll's minimalist mode l, and by the syntactic/semantic model of user behavior. The usability study involved 8 subjects who studied the Hyperties Author Tutorial (HAT) for approximately one hour and then performed a set of authoring tasks in an average of 21 minutes. All user s successfully completed the tasks. As a result of the study, we provide a characterization of appropriate uses of hypertext for training, and describe the meaning of a hyper-active environment.
Lifshitz, J., Shneiderman, B. (March 1990)
Window control strategies for hypertext traversal: an empirical study,
Proc. 29th Annual ACM DC Technical Symposium (June 1991).
CS-TR-2356 , CAR-TR-475
- Nowadays, larger and higher resolution screens supporting multiple windows are widely available. They are often used to traverse hypertext databases for fact retrieval, education or casual browsing. This paper describes a study comparing two methods of window control strategies for article placement in four, equal sized and tiled windows (By tiled we mean non-overlapping, non-movable and non-resizable windows, which together cover the entire screen.) The first placement strategy - Automatic Panning (A P) - was controlled by the system software and the second placement strategy - User Controlled Placement (UCP) - trasferred control to the users. The task required subjects to answer questions about the content of a hypertext. Statistical analysis shows that subjective preference was significantly higher and amount of backtracking was significantly lower for the user controlled placement. Speed differences did not prove to be significant, although there was consistent tendency favoring the automatic pa nning strategy.
Shneiderman, B., Plaisant, C., Botafogo, R., Hopkins, D., Weiland, W. (revised May 1991)
Designing to facilitate browsing: a look back at the Hyperties work station browser,
Hypermedia, vol. 3, 2 (1991)101-117. Based on Visual engagement and low cognitive load in browsing hypertext.
CS-TR-2433 , CAR-TR-494
- This paper reviews our designs to facilitate browsing that were developed, implemented, and tested in the SUN version of Hyperties: (1) A markup language for generating highly legible documents on a large high resolution display, including legible fonts and appropriate layout. (2) Innovative solutions to link identification and selection including pop-out graphical buttons of arbitrary shape. (3) Low cognitive load operations to avoid distraction of common operations such as page turning or window selec tion. (4) We implemented several multiple window selection strategies and conducted empirical tests. We preferred piles-of-tiles, in which standard-sized windows were arranged in a consistent pattern on the display and operations could be done rapidly a nd easily so as to minimize distraction from the contents.
Sears, A., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (June 1990)
A new era for high-precision touchscreens,
Advances in Human-Computer Interaction, vol. 3, Hartson, R. & Hix, D. Eds., Ablex (1992) 1-33.
CS-TR-2487 , CAR-TR-506
- While many input devices allow interfaces to be customized, increased directness distinguishes touchscreens. Touchscreens are easy to learn to use, fast, and result in low error rates when interfaces are designed carefully. Many actions which are diffi cult with a mouse, joystick, or keyboard are simple when using a touchscreen. Making rapid selections at widely separated locations on the screen, signing your name, dragging the hands of a clock in a circular motion are all simple when using a touchscre en, but may be awkward using other devices. This paper presents recent empirical research which can provide a basis for theories of touchscreen usage. We believe recent improvements warrant increased use of touchscreens.
Furuta, R., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (Dec. 1989)
Automatically transforming regularly structured linear documents into hypertext,
Electronic Publishing - Origination, Dissemination and Design, vol. 2, 4 (1990) 211-229.
- Fully automatic conversion of a paper-based document into hypertext can be achieved in many cases if the original document is naturally partitioned into a collection of small-sized pieces that are unambiguously and consistently structured. We describe t he methodology that we have used successfully to design and implement several straightforward conversions from the original document's machine-readable markup.
Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (revised Feb. 1991)
Scheduling home control devices: design issues and usability evaluation of four touchscreen interfaces,
International Journal of Man-Machine Studies (1992) 36, 375-393.
CS-TR-2352 , CAR-TR-472
- This article describes four different user interfaces supporting scheduling two-state (ON/OFF) devices over time periods ranging from minutes to days. The touchscreen-based user interfaces including a digital, 12-h clock, 24-h linear and 24-h dial proto types are described and compared on a feature by feature basis. A formative usability test with 14 subjects, feedback from more than 30 reviewers, and the flexibility to add functions favour the 24-h linear version.
Sears, A., Shneiderman, B. (June 1989)
High precision touchscreens: design strategies and comparisons with a mouse,
International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, (1991) 34, 4, 593-613. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 171-185.
CS-TR-2268 , CAR-TR-450
- Three studies were conducted comparing speed of performance, error rates, and user preference ratings for three selection devices. The devices tested were a touchscreen, a touchscreen with stabilization (stabilization software filters and smooths raw da ta from hardware), and a mouse. The task was the selection of rectangular targets 1,4,16,32 pixels per side (0.4x0.6, 1.7x2.2, 6.9x9.0, 13.8x17.9 mm respectively). Touchscreen users were able to point at single pixel targets, thereby countering widespre ad expectations of poor touchscreen resolution. The results show no difference in performance between the mouse and touchscreen for targets ranging from 32 to 4 pixels per side. In addition, stabilization significantly reduced the error rates for the to uchscreen when selecting small targets. These results imply that touchscreens, when properly used, have attractive advantages in selecting targets as small as 4 pixels per size (approximately one-quarter of the size of a single character). Ideas for fut ure research are presented.
Faloutsos, C., Lee, R., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (June 1989)
Incorporating string search in a hypertext system: user interface and signature file design issues,
Hypermedia, vol. 2, 3 (1991).
CS-TR-2266 , CAR-TR-448
- Hypertext systems provide an appealing mechanism for informally browsing databases by traversing selectable links. However, in many fact finding sirtuations string search is an effective complement to browsing. This paper describes the application of t he signature file method to achieve rapid and convenient string search in a hypertext environment. The method has been implemented in a prototype, as well as in a commercial product. Performance data for search times and storage space are presented from a commercial hypertext database. User interface issues are then discussed.
Furuta, R., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (May 1989)
A spectrum of automatic hypertext constructions,
Hypermedia, vol. 1, 2 (1989) 179-195.
CS-TR-2253 , CAR-TR-443
- We describe our experiences with four separate conversions from paper documents into hypertext and discuss the lessons we have learned. The paper document's organization affects the ease with which it can be converted and the appropriateness of the resu lting hypertext. The form of the paper document's machine-readable `markup' description affects the ability to transform the structure automatically. Designing the link structures that tie together the parts of the hypertext takes special care in automa ting, as badly-designed and incorrectly-formed links destroy the integrity of the hypertext. Overall, each of the conversions followed the same basic methodology, providing the handle for the development of `power tools' that can be applied to simplify s ubsequent conversions.
Shneiderman, B. (Sept. 1989)
Future directions for human-computer interaction,
Proc. Human-Computer Interaction '89 (Boston, Sept. 18-22, 1989). Also Designing and Using Human-Computer Interfaces and Knowledge Based Systems, Salvendy, G. & Smith, M. J. Eds., Elsevier Science B.V. Also International Journal of Huma
n-Computer Interaction (1990) 2 (1) 73-90.
CS-TR-2235 , CAR-TR-436
- This article offers a set of goals for user interface development, followed by scenarios of future developments. The applications include home control, hypermedia, office automation, digital photography, collaborative meetings/classrooms, public access, professional workstations, and medical record keeping. Also, predictions are made for some of the underlying technologies such as User Interface Management Systems, remote control, flexible search, display devices, and touchscreens.
Weiland, W. J., Shneiderman, B. (Aug. 1989)
Interactive graphics interfaces in hypertext systems,
Proc. 28th Annual ACM DC Technical Symposium, 23-28.
CS-TR-2267 , CAR-TR-449
- One of the key design aspects of hypertext systems is the rapid selection of items displayed on the screen in a direct manipulation manner. The user can select next or back page turning icons or buttons, or select another item that might jump to a remote destination. Authors and browsers are confronted with the problem of recognizing and selecting these choices in textual and graphic databases. This paper discusses the problems and offers a variety of solutions.
Shneiderman, B. (1989)
Intelligent interfaces: from fantasy to fact
Proc. IFIP 11th World Computer Congress, (San Francisco, CA, Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 1989).
- The fantasy of intelligent interfaces is considered to be a poor starting point for successful system design. The concept is vague and misleads designers to think that users want to be impressed with the cleverness of the computer. The evidence is mounting that users much prefer interfaces that give them a sense of mastery and control. Design goals and research methods are proposed to speed development of more successful and powerful user interfaces.
Hobbs, D. J., Shneiderman, B. (1989)
Design, implementation, and evaluation of automatic spelling correction for UNIX commands
CS-TR-2243 , CAR-TR-440
- A UNIX shell (csh) was modified to automatically correct misspelled command lines. The design and implementation were not easy, contrary to the opinions of previous researchers. After implementation, the shell was given to 21 users for evaluation. Their comments and performance suggest that any change to a familiar system may overshadow potential benefits of a new system. Designers of spelling correctors must be extremely cautious in order to produce a satisfactory system. Minimal distraction from the user's task should be a prime goal in designers of correction facilities. Spelling corrector filters and methods of testing filters are discussed.
Shneiderman, B., Brethauer, D., Plaisant, C., Potter, R. (May 1989)
Evaluating three museum installations of a hypertext,
Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 40(3) 172-182. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 231-250.
- This study explores the use of a hypertext system by patrons of three museums. Data on the articles accessed, the time spent in each, the number of times the index was accessed, etc. were collected from a total of more than 5000 sessions. Results show that visitors at all three museums used the embedded menus of the Hyperties hypertext system in moving from one article to another far more than the traditional index. Article selection appears to reflect anticipated interests of patrons at each museum s uggesting success in traversing the database. At the third museum, the data collection was complemented by direct observation and interviews of the museum patrons. This approach appears to be more appropriate to analyze the usage data as well as to imp rove the user interface and database structure.
Mitchell, J., Shneiderman, B. (April 1989)
Dynamic versus static menus: an exploratory comparison
ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, 20(4) (1989) 33-37.
- Sixty-three subjects completed 24 tasks using a menu driven computer program. The menu items appeared in a fixed (static) order during 12 of the tasks. During the other 12 tasks the menu item order changed dynamically such that the most frequently selected items always appeared at the top of the menu. All the subjects tried both dynamic and static menus. The subjects that used adaptive dynamic menus for the first set of tasks were significantly slower than those who used static menus on the first set of tasks. Subjects' performance during the second set of tasks was not affected by menu style. Eight-one percent of the subjects preferred working with static menus to working with dynamic menus.
Shneiderman, B., Kearsley, G. (1989)
available through Addison-Wesley,192 pages + 2 PC disks.
- This innovative book/software package provides the first hands-on nontechnical introduction to hypertext. Hypertext is a computer technology for manipulating information; in a grander sense, it is a new way of reading and writing. With the IBM-PC disket tes provided in this package, you will learn about hypertext by experiencing it. You will discover what it is like to read interactively, to find information according to your own needs and interests. Both the book and the software versions cover the basic concepts of hypertext, typical hypertext applications, and currently available authoring systems. They also raise important design and implementations issues. The book is self-contained an can be read from beginning to end without a computer. The software is also self-contained and, presenting hypertext in hypertext form, can be read in any order you choose. Since the two versions contain largely similar material, they provide an interesting basis for comparison between conventional text presentation and hypertext.
Shneiderman, B. (April 1989)
A nonanthropomorphic style guide: overcoming the humpty dumpty syndrome,
The Computing Teacher, 16(7), (1989) 5. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 331-335.
Seabrook, R., Shneiderman, B. (April 1989)
The user interface in a hypertext, multi-window program browser,
Interacting with Computers, 1(3) (1989) 299-337.
CS-TR-2237 , CAR-TR-437
- The program browsing problem is discussed, with particular emphasis on a multiple-window user interface and its implications for recording acquired knowledge, navigation, and attention-tracking. Hypertext systems are considered as an implementation of b rowsing techniques for non-program text. A classification scheme for text-viewing systems is offered, and then browsing is discussed as a non-intrusive, static technique for program study. Multiple techniques are synthesized into a coherent plan for a multi-window program study tool, based on theories of program browsing and the use of hypertext. A test system, HYBROW, emerged from the plan for studying the application of several hypertex t multiple-window techniques to program browsing, especially window replacement. HYBROW is a hypertext, multiple-window program browser. This generic tool is applicable to any source language, although certain aspects of the preprocessing and the hierarc hical browser presentation are specific to the C language. The tool permits opening an arbitrary number of text windows into an arbitrary number of files, rapid window switching, multiple-window search, place-marking, automatic screen organization, and s ervices for the creation, maintenance and production of study notes. An informal usability study was conducted.
Sears, A., Kochavy, Y., Shneiderman, B. (1989)
Touchscreen field specification for public access database queries: let your fingers do the walking,
Proc. of the ACM Computer Science Conference `90 (Feb. 1990) 1-7.
- Database query is becoming a common task in public access systems; touchscreens can provide an appealing interface for such a system. This paper explores three interfaces for constructing queries on alphabetic field values with a touchscreen interface; including a QWERTY keyboard, an Alphabetic keyboard, and a Reduced Input Data Entry (RIDE) interface. The RIDE interface allows field values to be entered with fewer "keystrokes" (touches) than either keyboard while eliminating certain errors. In one test database, the RIDE interface required 69% fewer keystrokes than either keyboard interface.
Shneiderman, B. (1989)
Reflections on authoring, editing, and managing hypertext,
The Society of Text, Barrett, Ed., MIT Press (1989) 115-131.
CS-TR-2160 , CAR-TR-410
Potter, R., Berman, M., Shneiderman, B. (Nov. 1988)
An experimental evaluation of three touchscreen strategies within a hypertext database
International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction,1(1) (1989) 41-52.
CS-TR-2141 , CAR-TR-405
- High resolution touch screens and novel usage strategies have overcome earlier problems with parallax and inaccurate pointing. A study testing the utility of three touch screen strategies within the Hyperties hypertext environment was performed. This provided a replication and extension of an earlier touch screen strategy comparison that focused on small closely-spaced targets. The experiment compared three touch screen strategies in three experimental tasks that reflect hypertext usage. The results showed that a strategy that only uses the initial impact with the touch screen causes the use to miss the target more than other touch strategies. A statisticallyx significant difference in errors was found. Our results should encourage system implementers and touch screen hardware desiners to support "touch mouse" strategies that enable coursor dragging on the touch screen surface.
Shneiderman, B. (1988)
We can design better user interfaces: a review of human-computer interaction styles,
Proc. International Ergonomics Association 10th Congress 31, vol. 5 (Sydney, Australia, Aug. 1-5, 1988) 699-710.
- The widespread use of computers has opened a new dimension of application for the ergonomic sciences. This review recommends three pillars to support the user interface design process: guidelines documents, User Interface Management Systems, and usability labs for iterative testing. Then it presents five primary interaction styles: menu selection, form fill-in, command language, natural language and direct manipulation. The author encourages greater attention to direct manipulation in which the objects and actions are visible, the actions are invoked by selection or pointing, and the impact is immediately visible and reversible.
Kreitzberg, C., Shneiderman, B. (1988)
Restructuring knowledge for an electronic encyclopedia
Proc. International Ergonomics Association 10th Congress 31, vol. 2, (Sydney, Australia, Aug. 1-5, 1988) 615-620. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed. , Ablex (June 1993) 123-131.
- Hyperties is a powerful, yet simple, new software tool for organizing and presenting information. It has been developed over the past five years at the University of Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory and has been used for more than 50 projects (Shneidernan 1987a, 1987b). Hyperties authors can create databases consisting of articles that contain text and illustrations. Without the need for programming, authors can link these articles together so readers can easily browse through them. Hyperties can be used for a wide variety of applications, including:
- On-line encyclopedias
- On-line help
- Instruction and dynamic glossaries
- Reference manuals
- Corporate policy manuals
- Summaries of products and services
- Employee orientation
- Regulations and procedures
- Museum exhibits
The strategies for gaining the benefits of paper texts are well understood, but there is a great need for study of how knowledge must be restructured to take advantage of hypertext environments (Yankelovich, Meyrowitz & Van Dam, 1985; Conklin, 1987; Marchionini & Shneiderman, 1988). This paper provides some guidance for designing Hyperties databases and reports on an exploratory study of comprehension tasks when article length was varied.
Potter, R.L., Weldon, L.J., Shneiderman, B. (May 1988)
Improving the accuracy of touch screens: an experimental evaluation of three strategies,
Proc. of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI `88 (Washington, DC) 27-32. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 161-169.
- A study comparing the speed, accuracy, and user satisfaction of three different touch screen strategies was performed. The purpose of the experiment was to evaluate the merits of the more intricate touch strategies that are possible on touch screens that return a continuous stream of touch data. The results showed that a touch strategy providing continuous feedback until a selection was confirmed had fewer errors than other touch strategies. The implications of the results for touch screens containing small, densely-packed targets were discussed.
Marchionini, G., Shneiderman, B. (Jan. 1988)
Finding facts vs. browsing knowledge in hypertext systems
IEEE Computer, 21, 1, 70-80. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 103-121.
- For hypertext and electronic information systems to be effective, designers must understand how users find specific facts, locate fragments of text that satisfy information queries, or just browse. Users' information retrieval depends on the cognitive representation (mental model) of a system's features, which is largely determined by the conceptual model designers provide through the human-computer interface. Other determinants of successful retrieval include the users' knowledge of the task domain, information-seeking experience, and physical setting. In this article we present a user-centered framework for information-seeking that has been used in evaluating two hypertext systems. We then apply the framework to key design issues related to information retrieval in hypertext systems.
Wallace, D., Anderson, N., Shneiderman, B. (Oct. 1987)
Time stress effects on two menu selection systems
Proc. of the 31st Annual Meeting - Human Factors Society, (NY, NY) 727-731. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 89-97. Also Human Factors Perspectives on Human-Computer Interaction,
Selections from Proc. of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meetings 1983-1994, Perlman, G., Green, G.K., Wogalter, M.S., Eds. (1995) 105-109.
- The optimal number of menu items per display screen has been the topic of considerable debate and study. On the one hand, some designers have packed many items into each menu to conserve space and reduce the number of menus, whereas on the other hand t here are designers who prefer a sparse display for menu structures and other videotex information. This study evaluated the effects of a broad/shallow menu compared to narrow/deep menu structure under two conditions of time stress for inexperienced users . Results indicated that time stress both slowed performance and increased errors. In addition, it was demonstrated that the broad/shallow menu was faster and resulted in fewer errors. Implications for menu design are discussed.
Callahan, J., Hopkins, D., Weiser, M., Shneiderman, B. (Sept. 1987)
An empirical comparison of pie vs. linear menus,
Proc. ACM CHI '88 (Washingotn, DC) 95-100. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 79-88.
- Menus are largely formatted in a linear fashion listing items from the top to bottom of the screen or window. Pull down menus are a common example of this format. Bitmapped computer displays, however, allow greater freedom in the placement, font, and general presentation of menus. A pie menu is a format where the items are placed along the circumference of a circle at equal radial distances from the center. Pie menus gain over traditional linear menus by reducing target seek time, lowering error rates by fixing the distance factor and increasing the target size in Fitts's Law, minimizing the drift distance after target selection, and are, in general, subjectively equivalent to the linear style.
Ostroff, D., Shneiderman, B. (Sept. 1987)
Selection devices for users of an electronic encyclopedia: an empirical comparison of four possibilities,
Information Processing & Management, vol. 24, 6, 665-680.
CS-TR-1910 , CAR-TR-321
- This study measured the speed, error rates, and subjective evaluation of arrow-jump keys, a jump-mouse, number keys, and a touch screen in an interactive encyclopedia. A summary of previous studies comparing selection devices and strategies is presented to provide the background for this study. We found the touch screen to be the fastest in time, the least accurate, but the overall favorite of the participants. The results are discussed and improvements are suggested accordingly.
Shneiderman, B. (Aug. 1987)
User interface design and evaluation for an electronic encyclopedia,
Proc. of the 2nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, (Honolulu, HI, Aug. 1987). Cognitive Engineering in the Design of Human-Computer Interaction and Expert Systems, G. Salvendy, Ed., Elsevier (1987) 207-223.
CS-TR-1819 , CAR-TR-280
- The Interactive Encyclopedia System (TIES) has been under development since Fall 1983. It enables users to easily traverse a database of articles by merely pointing at highlighted words in context. This embedded menus approach to hypertext and its user interface design are described with three exploratory studies of TIES use. Plans for future development and studies are offered.
Lifshitz, K., Shneiderman, B. (July 1987)
Window control strategies for on-line text traversal
Computer Science Internal Report.
- Larger and higher resolution screens that support multiple windows are now widely available. They are often used to traverse hypertext databases for fact retrieval, education or casual browsing. This paper introduces window control strategies that we implemented, describes their cognitive complexity, and characterizes the tasks that users might encounter. An infomal usage by dozens of visitors and a usability test with four subjects performing information search tasks revealed the limitations of several strategies and guided us to select user control of article placement in a tiled non-overlapping multiple window display.
Chin, J., Norman, K., Shneiderman, B. (July 1987)
Subjective user evaluation of CF Pascal programming tools,
CS-TR-1880 , CAR-TR-304
- This study investigated subjective evaluations of two programming environments: 1) SUPPORT, an interactive programming environment with a syntax directed editor on a personal computer and 2) a batch run environment on a large mainframe computer. Participants were students in a 15 week introductory computer science course. In Part 1, one group of 128 first used SUPPORT, while another group of 85 programmed on a mainframe environment. After 6 weeks they were given an evaluative questionnaire and then switched programming environments. In Part 2, 68 used SUPPORT and 60 used the mainframe. At the twelfth week of the course, they were given two questionnaires, one evaluating the environment they had used in the last 6 weeks and one comparing both enviro nments. A measure of programming performance (exam and programming project grades) was also collected. SUPPORT was predicted to reduce the burden of remembering syntactic details resulting in better performance and higher subjective evaluations. Unexpectedly, the SUPPORT users did not earn statistically significantly higher grades. Furthermore, participants expressed a preference for the mainframe over SUPPORT. Specific items on the questionnaires were used to diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of each environment. Designers of syntax directed editors should focus on reducing the syntactic burden not only in programming , but also in the user interface of these tools.
Margono, S., Shneiderman, B. (June 1987)
A study of file manipulation by novices using commands vs. direct manipulation,
26th Annual Technical Symposium Washington DC Chapter of the ACM, (Gaithersburg, MD, June 11, 1987) 154-159. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 39-50.
CS-TR-1775 , CAR-TR-264
- There are three basic interactive styles of control in human interfaces with computers: command, menu, and direct manipulation. In the past few years, these three styles have become the subject of many studies. However, few comparisons have been done between interfaces that use direct manipulation and command styles. This experiment compares file manipulation operations on the Apple Maccintosh, which has a direct manipulation interface, with the IBM PC with MS-DOS, which has the command interface. After a brief training period, novices accomplished file manipulation tasks more rapidly, with fewer errors and greater satisfaction with the Apple Macintosh. Problems arising for both versions are discussed and suggestions for improvements are made.
Shneiderman, B. (Feb. 1987)
A taxonomy and rule-base for the selection of interaction styles,
Human Factors for Informatics Usability, Shackel, B. & Richardson, S., Eds., Cambridge University Press, 325-342. Also Readings in Human-Computer Interaction: Toward the Year 2000, Baeker, R.M., Gruden, J. , Buxton, W.A.S. & Greenberg, S.,
Eds., Morgan Kaufmann Pubs., Inc. (1995) 401-410.
CS-TR-1776 , CAR-TR-265
- This review focusses on five primary interaction styles: menu selection, form fill-in, command language, natural language interaction, and direct manipulation. Each style is described, some guidelines are offered, and an airlines reservation example is shown in all five styles. Then a set of IF-THEN rules are offered to help in decision making during design. This is a first attempt that is meant to provoke discussion and encourage others to offer an extended, refined, and validated set of rules.
Shneiderman, B. (1987)
User interface design for the Hyperties electronic encyclopedia,
Proc. Hypertext '87, 199-205. See 86-09 for previous version.
- Printed books were an enormous stimulus to science, culture, commerce, and entertainment. Electronic books and hypertext systems may produce a similar stimulus in the next century, but current designs are poor. Typical screens are too small, too slow, too complicated, and too hard to read. With careful attention to the user interface and the underlying technology, we have a chance to create a new medium that is potentially more attractive and effective than printed books in many situations.
Laverson, A., Norman, K., Shneiderman, B. (1986)
An evaluation of jump-ahead techniques for frequent menu users,
Behaviour and Information Technology, 6, 2 (1987) 97-108.
CS-TR-1591 , CAR-TR-168
- Menu selection systems provide a means of selecting operations and retrieving information which requires little training and reduces the need for memorizing complex command sequences. However, a major disadvantage of many menu selection systems is that experienced users cannot traverse the menu tree significantly faster than novices. A common solution to this problem is to provide the menu selection system with a jump-ahead capability. The purpose of this research was to evaluate two jump-ahead methods (type-ahead and direct-access). In the type-ahead method the user anticipates a selection on each of several successive menus and enters as many selections at one time as desired. In the direct-access method, each menu frame is assigned a unique name which the user must enter to locate it. Thirty-two students were given training on an information retrieval system for college course information and were required to learn the two jump-ahead methods in a counter-balanced design. The direct-access method resulted in fewer traversals to learn the system, lower error rates, and reduced learning time. The subjective impressions, obtained from post-experiment questionnaires and oral comments indicated that the direct-access jump-ahead method was also preferred in a frequently used menu selectionsystem.
Baroff, J., Simon, R., Gilman, F., Shneiderman, B. (Dec. 1986)
Direct manipulation user interfaces for expert systems,
Expert Systems: The User Interface, J. Hendler, Ed., Ablex (1987) 101-127.
CS-TR-1745 , CAR-TR-244
- The emergence of production rules as a programming technique has stimulated the creation of many varieties of expert systems: adviser, consultants, intelligent computer-assisted instruction, oracles, and various decision aids. Applications have ranged from medicine, to computer system configuration, to automobile repair, to financial decision making, and to many other domains (Waterman, 1986). Production rules have multiple variations, but the central theme is that a system consists of hundreds or thousands of IF-THEN rules and a large unstructured set of facts. If the antecedent conditions (IF part) are satisfied by the facts then the rule "fires" and the consequents (THEN part) are carried out. Rules may be written and stored in any order. All rules whose antecedents are satisfied may fire, but the order of firing is unpredictable. The nonsequential, nonprocedural behaviour and the random firing order are often cited as benefits that free up the programmer to make incremental changes easy. A few rules can be written and the system is quickly working, even though the refinements to make a complete system may take months or years. On the other hand, this approach is sometimes seen as chaotic, unstructured, or undisciplined by those who worry about the difficulties of debugging, error tracing, and predictability. The unique nature of rule-based programming suggests that special techniques for designing, programming, browsing, debugging, testing, and documenting are necessary for expert systems. This chapter explores some possibliities for programmer and user interface design for expert systems. Rule-based systems may be well suited for many programming situations, but an interactive system must have a good user interface to succeed. The simple question-and-answer dialogue style (teletype) may be inappropriate for many applications where greater visibility, user control, and user initiative is required. All rule-based systems must provide programmers with good facilities for managing the user interface or provide an exit to a more procedural language with screen manipulation facilities. Rule-based systems are quickly being reshaped to meet the demands of professional system developers. Rule bases are being integrated with data bases, computational tools, communications facilities, graphic manipulation software, etc. The blend of techniques will lead to more powerful systems that ease the programmer's burden and increase the quality of service to the end users.
Morariu, J., Shneiderman, B. (Nov. 1986)
Design and research on The Interactive Encyclopedia System (TIES),
Proc. 29th Conference of the Association for the Development of Computer Based Instructional Systems, 19-21. See 87-01 for revised version.
- Printed books were an enormous stimulus to science, culture, commerce, and entertainment. Electronic books and hypertext systems may produce a similar stimulus in the next century, but current designs are poor. Typical screens are too small, too slow, too complicated, and too hard to read. With careful attention to the user interface and the underlying technology, we have a chance to create a new medium that is potentially more attractive and effective than printed books in many situations.
Reisel, J., Shneiderman, B. (Oct. 1986)
Is bigger better? The effects of display size on program reading,
Ergonomic and Stress Aspects of Work with Computers, G. Salvendy, S. L. Sauter, & J. J. Hurrell, Jr., Eds., Elsevier (Aug. 1987) 113-122.
CS-TR-1722 , CAR-TR-231
- An experiment was conducted in which four window sizes (10, 22, 60 and 120 lines) were compared for their effectiveness for program reading. The largest window, in which the entire program could be seen at one time, was found significantly better, in both time to complete the reading task and the number of correct answers in the reading task. Subjects also preferred the larger windows to the smaller windows.
Norman, K., Weldon, L., Shneiderman, B. (Aug. 1986)
Cognitive layouts of windows and multiple screens for user interfaces,
International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 25, 229-248.
CS-TR-1498 , CAR-TR-123
- In order to make computers easier to use and more versatile many system designers are exploring the use of multiple windows on a single screen and multiple coordinated screens in a single work station displaying linked or related information. The designers of such systems attempt to take into account the characteristics of the human user and the structure of the tasks to be performed. Central to this design issue is the way in which the user views and cognitively processes information presented in the windows or in multiple screens. This paper develops a theory of the "cognitive layout" of information presented in multiple windows or screens. It is assumed that users adopt a cognitive representation or layout of the type of information to be presented and the relationships among the window of screens and the information they contain. A number of cognitive layouts are derived from theories in cognitive psychology and are discussed in terms of the intent of the software driving the system and congruence with the cognitive processing of the information. It is hypothesized that the particular layout adopted by a user will drastically affect the user's understanding and expectation of events at the human-computer interface and could either greatly facilitate or frustrate the interaction. Ways of ensuring the former and avoiding the latter are discussed in terms of implementations on existing multiple-window and multiple-screen systems.
Shneiderman, B., Shafer, P., Simon, R., Weldon, L. (May 1986)
Display strategies for program browsing: concepts and an experiment,
IEEE Software 3, 3 (March 1986) 7-15.
CS-TR-1635 , CAR-TR-192
- Software maintenance is an important part of a programmer's work and a product's life cycle, yet it remains one of the most troublesome of tasks. Even existing, newly developed techniques are not of much use, since only time can determine their value. Thus, instead of presenting another new maintenance tool or management technique, we focus on strategies for improving the presentation of information--specifically, on the new larger display screens.
Koved, L., Shneiderman, B. (April 1986)
Embedded menus: selecting items in context,
Communications of the ACM 29, 4, 312-318. Also (Aug. 13, 1985), IBM Research Report RC 11310. Reprinted in Hebrew in Maaseh-Hoshev. Also Sparks of Innovation in Human-Computer Interaction, Shneiderman, B., Ed., Ablex (June 1993) 67-77.
CS-TR-1562 , CAR-TR-153
- Menus can be categorized as either embedded or explicit. The difference between embedded and explicit menus is the context in which the menu items are presented. Explicit menus are the type of menus with which most people are familiar. They usually present a list of items from which the user can make a selection. Embedded menus provide an alternative, where the menu items are embedded within the information being presented on the computer display. For example, if several paragraphs of text are to be displayed to the user, words or phrases within the text can be menu items that are highlighted or underlined. The user can choose one of these items by pointing to it and selecting it. The embedded menus offer advantages over traditional menus. Embedded menus can reduce the complexity of decision making in comparison to explicit menus because the menu choices are presented within their original context. They also reduce the space required to display menus, thereby allowing more information to be presented to the user. Initial experimental results show that embedded menus allow people to work faster than with traditional menu or command driven systems. In addition, people prefer embedded menus over other methods.
Shneiderman, B. (March 1986)
Designing menu selection systems,
Journal of American Society for Information Science, 37, 2, 57-70.
- Menu selection systems reduce training and memorization , simplify entry of choices, and structure the user's tasks. However, the use of menu selection is no guarantee that novices or experts will be satisfied or able to carry out their work. This article focuses on the multiple design issues in creating successful menu selection systems. These include the primary issue of semantic organization and the host of secondary issues such as response time and display rates, shortcuts for frequent users, titles, phrasing of menu items, graphic layout, and selection mechanisms. Novel approaches such as pop-up menus and embedded menus are covered. Experimental results and design guidelines are presented.
Shneiderman, B. (Feb. 1986)
Empirical studies of programmers: the territory, paths, and destinations,
keynote address for workshop, Empirical Studies of Programmers, E. Soloway & R. Iyengar, Eds., Ablex (June 1986) 1-12.
CS-TR-1623 , CAR-TR-187
- This paper attempts to describe the varied intellectual territory that programmers work in. It offers several paths for researchers who wish to explore this territory: controlled experiments, observational or field studies, surveys, and cognitive theories. Finally, this paper suggests several important destinations for researchers: refining the use of current languages, imporving present and future languages, developing special purpose languages, and improving tools and methods.
Ewing, J., Mehrabanzad, S., Sheck, S., Ostroff, D., Shneiderman, B. (Jan. 1986)
An experimental comparison of a mouse and arrow-jump keys for an interactive encyclopedia,
International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 24, 1, 29-45.
- This paper reports on an experiment which was conducted to examine relative merits of using a mouse or arrow-jump keys to select text in an interactive enclyclopedia. Timed path traversals were performed by subjects using each device, and were followed by subjective questions. Personality and background of the subjects were recorded to see if those attributes would affect device preference and performance. The arrow-jump keys were found to have the quickest traversal times for paths with either short or long target distances. The subjective responses indicated that the arrow-jump method was overwhelmingly preferred over the mouse method. Personality type was not found to play a critical role.
Schwartz, J., Norman, K., Shneiderman, B. (March 1985)
Performance on content free menus as a function of study method,
CS-TR-1477 , CAR-TR-110
Parton, D., Huffman, K., Pridgen, P., Norman, K., Shneiderman, B. (1985)
Learning a menu selection tree: training methods compared,
Behaviour and Information Technology, 4, 2, 81-91.
- Menu selection systems sometimes present learning problems for novice users. This comparison of four training methods for novice users found that the global tree diagram of the menu system was superior to command sequence and frame presentation methods, and somewhat better than trial and error. Methods were evaluated on the basis of (1) number of target nodes found, (2) mean number of selections to a target node, (3) recall of the menu structure, and (4) subjective rating of ease of learning.
Weldon, L.J., Mills, C.B., Koved, L., Shneiderman, B. (1985)
The structure of information in online and paper technical manuals,
Proc. Human Factors Society - 29th Annual Conference (Santa Monica, CA) 1110-1113.
- An experiment was conducted to compare online computer manuals to paper manuals. For each type of manual there were two different database structures -- a linear (sequential) structure and a tree structure. The results showed that people using the paper manuals were faster at performing a switch setting task based on information in the manual than were people using the online manuals. No significant differences were found in speed of performance between the linear and tree structures. Nor were there any differences in the number of correct switch settings for the different types of manuals. The subjective evaluation data revealed that the online manuals were rated as better and judged to be more organized than the paper manuals.
Norman, K., Schwartz, J., Shneiderman, B. (May 1984)
Memory for menus: effects of study mode
(revised 1987, see 87-14 Memory for hierarchical menus: effects of study mode).
CS-TR-1412 , CAR-TR-69
- Menu selection systems require a certain amount of training in order for users to remember how to access target functions. In this experiment users studied four different types of documentation before searching for target words in a content-free menu containing no meaningful relationships among terms. Documentation was presented to subjects in one of four modes of study. In the Command Mode subjects studied sequences of choices to arrive at a desired target. In the Menu Frame Mode subjects studied individual frames in the menu system. In the Global Tree Mode subjects studied a diagram of the menu tree. Finally, in the Trial and Error Mode subjects studied the menu system by actually selecting alternatives. Although the Global Tree and Command Sequence Groups found the most target words during the test phase, the four groups did not differ significantly. On the other hand, differences in the ability to recall menu terms were significant with the command Sequence and Menu Frame Groups recalling the most terms. Furthermore, results indicated that the type of training fundamentally affected the type of information used in order to find targets. Subjects in the Command Sequence and Menu Frame Groups tended to rely on recall of menu terms. Furthermore, all groups relied heavily on memory of the menu tree except for the Command Squence Group. Results of this study are related to practical considerations for the design of menu selection systems.
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