Reiterer, Harald

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Lessons learned from the design and evaluation of visual information-seeking systems

2009, Gerken, Jens, Heilig, Mathias, Jetter, Hans-Christian, Rexhausen, Sebastian, Demarmels, Mischa, König, Werner A., Reiterer, Harald

Designing information-seeking systems has become an increasingly complex task as today s information spaces are rapidly growing in quantity, heterogeneity, and dimensionality. The challenge is to provide user interfaces that have a satisfying usability and user experience even for novice users. Although information visualization and interaction design offer solutions, many informationseeking systems such as online catalogs for libraries or web search engines continue to use outdated user-interface concepts developed decades ago. In this paper, we will present four principles that we identified as crucial for the successful design of a modern visual information-seeking system.These are (1) to support variousways of formulating an information need, (2) to integrate analytical and browsing-oriented ways of exploration, (3) to provide views on different dimensions of the information space, and (4) to make search a pleasurable experience. These design principles are based on our experience over a long period in the user-centered design and evaluation of visual information-seeking systems. Accordingly, we will showcase individual designs from our own work of the past 10 years to illustrate each principle and hence narrow the gap between the scientific discussion and the designing practitioner that has often hindered research ideas from becoming reality. However, most of the times search is only one part of a higher level user activity (e.g. writing a paper). Thus future research should focus on the challenges when regarding search in such a broader context. We will use the final two chapters to point out some of these challenges and outline our vision of an integrated and consistent digital work environment named Zoomable Object-oriented Information Landscape.


Adaptive Pointing Design and Evaluation of a Precision Enhancing Technique for Absolute Pointing Devices

2009, König, Werner A., Gerken, Jens, Dierdorf, Stefan, Reiterer, Harald

We present Adaptive Pointing, a novel approach to addressing the common problem of accuracy when using absolute pointing devices for distant interaction. First, we discuss extensively some related work concerning the problem-domain of pointing accuracy when using absolute or relative pointing devices. As a result, we introduce a novel classification scheme to more clearly discriminate between different approaches. Second, the Adaptive Pointing technique is presented and described in detail. The intention behind this approach is to improve pointing performance for absolute input devices by implicitly adapting the Control-Display gain to the current user‟s needs without violating users‟ mental model of absolute-device operation. Third, we present an experiment comparing Adaptive Pointing with pure absolute pointing using a laser-pointer as an example of an absolute device. The results show that Adaptive Pointing results in a significant improvement compared with absolute pointing in terms of movement time (19%), error rate (63%), and user satisfaction.