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An evaluation of integrated zooming and scrolling on small screens

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Jones, S., Jones, M., Marsden, G., Patel, D., Cockburn, A. (2005). An evaluation of integrated zooming and scrolling on small screens. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 63(3), 271-303.

Available (from Science Direct) at

Original abstract:

Speed-dependent automatic zooming (SDAZ) has been proposed for standard desktop displays as a means of overcoming problems associated with the navigation of large information spaces. SDAZ combines zooming and panning facilities into a single operation, with the magnitude of both factors dependent on simple user interaction. Previous research indicated dramatic user performance improvements when using the technique for document and map navigation tasks. In this paper, we propose algorithmic extensions to the technique for application on small-screen devices and present a comparative experimental evaluation of user performance with the system and a normative scroll-zoom-pan interface. Users responded positively to the system, particularly in relation to reduced physical navigational workload. However, the reduced screen space reduced the impact of SDAZ in comparison to that reported in previous studies. In fact, for one-dimensional navigation (vertical document navigation) the normative interface out-performed SDAZ . For navigation in two dimensions (map browsing) SDAZ supports more accurate target location, and also produces longer task completion times. Some SDAZ users became lost within the information space and were unable to recover navigational context. We discuss the reasons for these observations and suggest ways in which limitations of SDAZ in the small-screen context may be overcome.

Rubric for the reading group: Everyone attending is expected to read the paper in advance. Please bring a copy with you, preferably annotated with interesting reflections. The format of discussion will be a brief invited introduction/critique by two members of the group, followed by general discussion and informal mixing.

This talk is part of the Crucible/Microsoft HCI Reading Group series.

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