The primary objective of this research is to develop a scalable approach to visual information organization, access and manipulation in windowing systems. While current windowing systems scale poorly as more information is introduced, Elastic Windows provides a scalable organization by hierarchical window organization, scalable access by multi-window operations, and manipulation by elastic layout dynamics.
The major contributions of this research are as follows:
The design and implementation of Elastic Windows evolved over two years and was applied to different applications. The human factors issues in the presentation of hierarchy played an important role in the design.
The experimental evaluation of the Elastic Windows approach by the use of statistical methods is also an important piece, since it clearly indicates the benefits of the approach. The design of the experiment tasks is also an important step towards formalization of user interaction with windowing systems.
Analytical examination of the approach by the use of metrics and factors complements experimental studies. Metrics and factors typically provide designers an early feedback to improve interface design.
Part of my contribution and motivation has been to extend the treemaps concept and to apply it to window management. All these pieces show the depth of the Elastic Windows approach that provides scalable organization, access and manipulation of visual information, and the breadth of the applicability of the approach in variety of domains.