Skip to main content


Good, L., Stefik, M., Bederson, B. (November 2004)
A Comparison of Zoomable User Interfaces and Folders For Grouping Visual Objects
HCIL-2004-33, CS-TR-4641, UMIACS-TR-2004-83

Making sense of information on computers is notoriously difficult because of limited size displays. Two interface techniques used to cope with these limitations are zooming and overview+detail. To evaluate these techniques, we ran a user study comparing a Zoomable User Interface (ZUI) and a folder-based overview+detail interface. The task used in the study required subjects to organize shapes into groups based on common visual properties. The study results showed 30% faster completion times with the ZUI than with folders. The ZUI's advantage most likely arose from its support for fast visual comparisons. Ultimately, we expect that these results can be extended to a range of problem solving tasks involving a variety of visual objects.


Science Everywhere
More information

Tech Reports
Video Reports
Annual Symposium

Seminars + Events
HCIL Seminar Series
Annual Symposium
HCIL Service Grants
Events Archives
HCIL Conference Travel Award
Job Openings
For the Press
HCIL Overview
Become a Member
Collaborating Groups + People
Academic Visitors
Join our Mailing List
Contact Us
Visit Us
HCIL Store
Give the HCIL a Hand
HCIL T-shirts for Sale
Our Lighter Side
HCIL Memories Page
Faculty/ Staff
Ph.D. Alumni
Past Members
Research Areas
Design Process
Digital Libraries
Physical Devices
Public Access
Research Histories
Faculty Listed by Research
Project Highlights
Project Screenshots
Publications and TRs
Studying HCI
Masters in HCI
PhD in HCI
Visiting Scholars
Class Websites
Sponsor our Research
Sponsor our Annual Symposium
Active Sponsorship
Industrial Visitors

Web Accessibility