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HCIL-98-06

Hightower, R., Ring, L., Helfman, J., Bederson, B., Hollan, J. (1998)
Graphical Multiscale Web Histories: A Study of PadPrints
Proceedings of ACM Conference on Hypertext (Hypertext 98), ACM Press, 58-65. [Published Version]
HCIL-98-06, CS-TR-3908, UMIACS-TR-98-33

We have implemented a browser companion called PadPrints that dynamically builds a graphical history-map of visited web pages. PadPrints relies on Pad++, a zooming user interface (ZUI) development substrate, to display the history-map using minimal screen space. PadPrints functions in conjunction with a traditional web browser but without requiring any browser modifications.

We performed two usability studies of PadPrints. The first addressed general navigation effectiveness. The second focused on history-related aspects of navigation. In tasks requiring returns to prior pages, users of PadPrints completed tasks in 61.2% of the time required by users of the same browser without PadPrints. We also observed significant decreases in the number of pages accessed when using PadPrints. Users found browsing with PadPrints more satisfying than using Netscape alone.


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