Chimera, R. (Oct. 1991)
The "value bar" provides an overview of a large listing with multiple, quantifiable attributes. Value bars are a cross between scrollbars and space efficient stacked bar charts. A space-filling algorithm assigns relatively sized regions in the value ba r according to items' attribute values. In a glance users can discern the distribution of attribute values of the entire listing. Navigation features provide quick identification and in-context fisheye views of listing items. Many value bars can be cre ated to compare distributions of the same items over different attributes. A usability study showed value bars are easy to use and understand. Value bars can be added to applications involving directory listings, databases and their search results, tabl es of contents, stock market tables, medical information, etc.