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2000 HCIL Video reports and
1999-1991 Retrospective

Browsing and annotating digital photographs with Photofinder (55 MB) H. Kang, B. Shneiderman, Plaisant, C. (2:45)

Software tools for personal photo collection management are proliferating, but they usually have limited searching and browsing functions. PhotoFinder enable non-technical users of personal photo collections to search and browse easily. Direct annotation allows users to drag labels such as personal names and drop them on a photo.
(related project)
Learning histories in simulation based learning environments (24 MB) C. Plaisant, A. Rose, R. Salter, B. Shneiderman, G. Rubloff (1:55) A simulation-based learning module on a vacuum pump system is demonstrated. The learning historian allows users to record their actions and replay them to review what they did. A visual history maps actions with outcomes. Histories can be saved and mailed to peer and instructors.
(related project)
Dynamap: Dynamic queries on choropleth maps (24 MB) G. Dang, C. North (2:00) Dynamaps allows the rapid exploration of large Census data tables. It shows a zoomable map of the US, color coded by one of the one attributes. A slider is available for each attribute and allows users to filter states or counties using dynamic query techniques. New software and GIS tools now make it easy to develop such applications.
(related project) (related research summary page on dynamic queries)
StoryRooms (50 MB) Druin, Alborzi, Boltman, Hendler, Montemayor, Platner, Sherman, Best, Hammer, Kruskal, Lal, Schwenn, Sumida, Wagner (3:50) StoryRooms are room-sized immersive storytelling experiences for children. With the use of low-tech and high-tech storytelling elements, children can author physical storytelling experiences to share with other children. We describe how a StoryRoom can be created by kids and show an example StoryRoom being used.
(related project)

1999-1991 HCIL Video Retrospective

Snap together visualization (63 MB)  C. North, B. Shneiderman (4:31)

Information visualizations with multiple coordinated views enable users to rapidly explore complex data and discover relationships. However, it is usually difficult for users to find or create the coordinated set of visualizations they need. Snap-Together Visualization allows users to coordinate visualizations to create customized multiple-view interfaces. Users query their relational database and load results into desired visualizations. Then they specify coordinations between visualizations for selecting, navigating, or re-querying. Developers can make independent visualization tools ‘snap-able’ by including a few simple hooks.(related project)

Designing PETS: A Personal Electronic Teller of Stories
(105 MB) A. Druin, J. Montemayor, J. Hendler, B. McAlister, A. Boltman, E. Fiterman, A. Plaisant, A. Kruskal, H. Olsen, I. Revett, T. Plaisant Schwenn, L. Sumida, & R. Wagner (7:49)
In today's homes and schools, children are emerging as frequent and experienced users of technology. As this trend continues, it becomes increasingly important to ask if we are fulfilling the technology needs of our children. To answer this question, we have developed a research approach that enables young children to have a voice throughout the technology development process. This video describes our research approach with a team of six children (ages 7-11 years old) and six adult researchers with experience in computer science, education, art, and robotics. In this video, we show our team at work to develop PETS: A Personal Electronic Teller of Stories. This is a new robotic pet that can support children in the storytelling process.
(related project)

KidPad: A Collaborative Storytelling Environment for Children
(42 MB) B. Bederson, A. Druin, J. Pablo-Hourcade, A. Boltman (3:11)

Narratives are ubiquitous. Some argue that the fundamental element in life is the story and storytelling can be viewed as a framework for almost all communication. As such, storytelling can also be used as an approach to learning. Within our recently launched KidStory research project (in a collaboration with the European Union), storytelling is the focus for a set of tools and collaboration principles that we are developing. The technology tools we have come to see as important support co-present collaboration for children. This technique we call Single Display Groupware, where children can work together at the same computer as partners in creating a shared story. Our goal is to develop tools that will enhance children's communication skills, expressive storytelling capabilities, and collaboration experiences. (related project)

Query Previews in Networked Information Systems - The case of EOSDIS (1999 update)
(60 MB)
C. Plaisant and M. Venkatraman (7:02)
Query Previews allow users to rapidly gain an understanding of the content and scope of a digital data collection. These previews present overviews of abstracted metadata enabling users to rapidly and dynamically avoid undesired data. This video summarizes our work on developing query previews for NASA Earth Science data. New developments include approaches that successfully address the challenge of multi-valued attribute data. Memory requirements and processing time associated with running these new solutions remain independent of the number of records in the dataset.(related project)

LifeLines: Enhancing Navigation and Analysis of Patient Records
(103 MB)
C. Plaisant, J. Li, D. Heller, B. Shneiderman (7:41)
Using the familiar metaphor of timelines, LifeLines takes advantage of our ability to visually analyze information-abundant displays, and facilitates access to the details in the medical patient record. A Java user interface presents a one-screen overview. Problems, diagnoses, test results, or medications can be represented as dots or horizontal lines. Zooming provides more details; line color and thickness illustrate relationships or significance. The visual display acts as a giant menu, giving direct access to the details.(related project)

Pad++: A Zooming User Interface
(41 MB)
Ben Bederson (3:25)
This video demonstrates Pad++, a zooming user unterface (ZUI) designed for interactive graphical data creation and browsing. It takes the spatial metaphor standard from the computer window desktop interface one step further by incorporating the concept of scale. Pad++ is a two-dimensional surface that acts like a sketchpad, but is orders of magnitude larger in extent and resolution. This allows information to be created not only at any location, but at any size as well. (related project)

SimPLE: Simulated Processes in a Learning Environment
(52 MB)
Anne Rose(4:20)
We have developed an application framework for creating simulation-based learning environments. We call it SimPLE. These environments use dynamic simulations and visualizations to represent realistic, time-dependent behavior; and are coupled with guidance material and other software aids that facilitate the learning process. The Software architecture enables independent contributions of both educational content (e.g., simulation models, guidance materials) and cognitive user environments such as user interface and software. (related project)

Understanding the effect of incidents on transportation delays with a simulation based environment
(60 MB) C. Plaisant, S. Keswani, P. Tarnoff (4:28)

A simulation-based learning environment provide system designers and operators with an appreciation of the impact of incidents on traffic delay. We used SimPLE (Simulated Processes in a Learning Environment) which uses dynamic simulations and visualizations to represent realistic time-dependent behavior. Guidance material and other software aids facilitate learning. The simulation allows learners to close freeway lanes and divert traffic to an arterial road. Users can see the effect of the detour on freeway and arterial delay. Users can then adjust signal timing interactively on a time space diagram and watch the effect of their adjustment on green band changes and on arterial delays and total delays. (related project)

Bringing treasures to the surface: Previews and overviews in a prototype for the Library of Congress National Digital Library
(104 MB)
C. Plaisant, A. Komlodi, G. Marchionini, A. Shirinian, D. Nation, S. Karasik, T. Cronnell, and B. Shneiderman

We worked with a team from the Library of Congress (LC) to develop interface design components for LC's American Memory collections of historical multimdeia materials. Our prototype illustrates the benefits of previews (such as samples, collections of thumbnails, and video previews) and overviews (such as timelines and automaticaly generated tables of contents) to facilitate the browsing of search results or entire collections. (related project)

Elastic Windows
(67 MB)
B. Shneiderman and E. Kandogan (5:00)

Current WWW browsers are still primitive in that they do not support many of the user's navigational needs. We propose a new browsing interface based on the Elastic Windows approach with hierarchical windows and multiple window operations. It provides a flexible organization where users can quickly organize and restructure the pages on the screen as they reformulate their goals. (related project)

Browsing Anatomical Image Databases : the Visible Human
(81 MB)
- F. Korn, C. North

The National Library of Medicine is preparing an archive consisting of anatomical images of a male and a female subject, including MRI, CT and cryosection images. This collection of images will be available to a large community of users with varying backgrounds and expertise. We are exploring visual metaphors for browsing and querying anatomy databases. Our first prototypes include novel overview techniques for rapid exploration of volumetric data, and for browsing medical concepts and anatomical terms. (related project)

WinSurfer: Treemaps for Replacing the Windows File Manager
(76 MB)
- M. Teittinen

WinSurfer is a directory maintenance tool running in MS Windows and using treemaps. Treemaps are a novel method for displaying hierarchical information using a 2-D space filling algorithm that partitions a rectangular region. WinSurfer lets you gracefully and rapidly examine your directory and invoke file actions. (related research summary page on treemaps)

Visual information seeking using the FilmFinder
(113 MB)
- C. Ahlberg, B. Shneiderman (6:12)
FilmFinder allows users to explore a large film database. By applying the dynamic queries approach to filtering information, a continuous starfield display of the films, and tight coupling among the components of the display, the FilmFinder environment encourages incremental and exploratory search. (related research summary page on dynamic queries)

Dynamic queries demos: revised HomeFinder and text version plus health statistics atlas Part 1 (44 MB) Part 2 (83 MB) - B. Shneiderman (9:40)

Because of the great interest in Dynamic Queries we are making these video demos available for instructional and training purposes. We appreciate the cooperation of the University of Maryland Instructional Television, which produced the original 5-hour User Interface Strategies '94 program. Dynamic Queries are user controlled displays of visual or textual information. Ben Shneiderman presents the HomeFinder (developed by Chris Williamson), followed by the text version (Vinit Jain) and the Health Statistics Atlas (Catherine Plaisant and Vinit Jain). (related research summary page on dynamic queries)

Filter-Flow metaphor for boolean queries
(89 MB)
- D. Young, B. Shneiderman, (6:35)
Evidence shows that users of database or information systems have difficulties specifying complex boolean queries. We present a novel visual presentation based on water filter-flow metaphors that reveals the effect of selectors and operators (AND, OR and NOT) on query outcome.
(related paper)

Scheduling home control devices
(76 MB)
- C. Plaisant, B. Shneiderman (6:00)
We describe three different user interfaces supporting the scheduling of home-control devices (such as VCR, air conditioning or furnace) over time periods ranging from minutes to days. The touchscreen-based user interfaces include a 12-hour clock, 24-hour dial and 24-hour linear prototypes. They are demonstrated on a PC-AT equipped with a touchscreen. User reactions were collected during an informal usability test. The reviewers' feedback as well as the flexibility to add functionalities favor the linear representation.
(related research summary page on touchscreens)

Touchscreen toggles
(86 MB)
- C. Plaisant (7:00)

We describe six different touchscreen based toggle switches allowing the control of two state devices by novice or occasional users. The user interfaces, ranging from button type toggles to sliding toggles are demon-strated on an IBM PC. Results from a formative usability test are given indicating that all the toggles described here can be used with very low error rates. The sliding toggles were rated harder to use and were least preferred. On the other hand they offer other advantages such as the reduction of the risk of undesired activation.(related research summary page on touchscreens)

Pie Menus
(205 MB) -
D. Hopkins (2:00)
A pie menu is a format where the items are placed along the circumference of a circle at equal radial distance from the center. Several examples are demonstrated on a Sun running NeWS window system, including the use of pie menu for window management, the simultaneous entry of 2 arguments (by using angle and distance from the center), scrollable pie menus, precision pie menus, etc.
(related paper)

Softer Software: an excerpt from the Maryland State of Mind program
(118 MB)

Extract from a public broadcasting review of HCIL projects showing early work on hypertext with mousable text links. (related research summary page on hypertext)

About this retrospective

It was a challenge to select the segments to be included in this retrospective.  We tried to include the most important work having a strong visual component (e.g. dynamic queries, treemaps, zooming interfaces), as well as pieces which we know are appreciated for teaching HCI (e.g. the schedulers, toggles). We favored recent work and short pieces. Finally, we planned to cut portions of certain segments (e.g. in the pie menus segment) but  cancelled the cuts during the final editing as space became available.

Please look at previous years videos, consult our recent projects pages, or browse or search our technical reports to find information about other projects.

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