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HCIL-93-01

Shneiderman, B. (Jan. 1993)
Dynamic Queries: For Visual Information Seeking
IEEE Software, vol. 11, 6 (Nov. 1994) 70-77.
HCIL-93-01, 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.


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