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How Not to Have to Navigate Through Too Many Displays

Authors:
  • Paychex and Rochester Institute of Technology

Abstract and Figures

The three trends in information visualization attempting to address the problems caused by large networks of displays of raw data are information animation, integrated representations, and coordination of multiple views. Coordination of multiple views is used to create a virtual perceptual field or a workspace in which practitioners carry out their work activity and is the theme of this chapter. This chapter concerns how the characteristics of computer-based networks of displays shape the cognition and performance of practitioners. The chapter reviews common findings from field studies that have shown how large networks of displays, available through a limited keyhole, can place new mental burdens on users. It also provide an overview of some of the techniques that designers can use to break down the keyhole and help users focus on the relevant portion of the data field as activities unfold. The work in human-computer interaction concerned with this level of analysis of a computer based information system often goes under labels such as navigation, browsing, hypertext, dialogue design, or window management. This chapter discusses ways in which designers can coordinate different kinds of display frames within a virtual workspace. The chapter refers to this level of analysis and design as workspace coordination—the integration of the set of displays and classes of views that can be seen together in parallel or in series as a function of context.
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... All the while, however, empirical studies have shown that when professionals use different scripts that depict different features of a domain, they prefer selecting scripts in which they can link (or integrate) the different information presented (Woods & Watts, 1997). Jabbari and Recker (2017), for example, report that practitioners preferred to use scripts that had some correspondence between them. ...
... mental efforts toward reasoning about multiple scripts (Woods & Watts, 1997). ...
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Because most real-world domains intended to be supported by an information system are complex, practitioners often use multiple different types of conceptual modeling scripts to understand them. We performed two experiments to examine how two theoretical factors of multiple scripts, combined ontological completeness and ontological overlap, influence how users develop an understanding of a real-world domain from multiple scripts. Results of the first experiment show that ontological overlap, to some degree, improves participants’ understanding of a domain, more so than combined ontological completeness does. In the second experiment, we tracked eye movement data of participants to be able to understand how ontological overlap between scripts impacts users’ information search and cognitive integration processes. We find that some occurrence of semantically similar constructs between scripts helps individuals to identify and relate constructs presented in different scripts. Users, therefore, can identify, and focus on, script areas that are relevant to their problem tasks. However, a high level of ontological overlap decreases participants’ attention to relevant task-specific areas because they spend more time on searching for relevant information. Together, our findings both refine and extend existing conceptual modeling theory. We clarify the dialectics between full and parsimonious real-world representations offered through multiple scripts and an individual’s understanding of a domain that is represented by those scripts.
... Moreover, large data set with multiple workbooks have its own limitations which are highlighted by many researchers in the past. Navigational issues (by zoom and swiping) (Woods and Watts, 1997), losing focus (Elm and Woods, 1985), finding dependency and linkage among various workbooks (Henderson and Card, 1986) are some issues highlighted previously. ...
... For example, change in an equipment can affect type, systems, component workbooks simultaneously. This problem is significant, pertaining to the fact that checking for changes in such large data set for values and finding the meaning out of it is a challenging, tedious and time-consuming (Elm and Woods, 1985;Woods and Watts, 1997). ...
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... Users often have to use cognitively demanding visual checks to deduce the semantic connection among the cells, columns and workbooks (Hendry and Green, 1994). The difficulty in navigating through large spreadsheets affects the user's ability to find and understand the relevant information (Woods, 1995;Woods and Watts, 1997). Some of the noted cognitive challenges include: ...
... Keyhole effect (Woods and Watts, 1997) -If the representation of data is distributed and much bigger than the actual computer screen, then users cannot process the data parallel in-mind with what they see on the screen. Instead, they split up the large structure and navigate the predecessor/successor sections via zoom and/or move-to actions. ...
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... Users' ability to find or discover patterns can grow as users gain experience at monitoring the system through the lens of the representation (Hoffman and Fiore, 2007). Well-designed circular forms also provide a longshot perspective that helps users navigate the large space of potential views of data in modern systems reducing the risk of getting lost in massive data spaces (Woods and Watts, 1997). ...
... Identifying a change will mean that a person needs to conduct multiple actions such as zoom in/out, scroll down, and filtering and sorting. These challenges related to spreadsheet format have been highlighted previously by various researchers (Henderson Jr & Card, 1986;Woods & Watts, 1997;Yalcinkaya & Singh, 2019a). When a large amount of data is stored in a spreadsheet format, identifying linked data changes becomes challenging (Yalcinkaya, 2017). ...
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... Similarly, COBie deliverable for mid-size projects such as, office building, can generate a hundred thousand of rows of information while complex projects such as a hospital can generate over million rows, going beyond the technical limit of spreadsheet file (AEC Magazine, 2014). It was found that navigation through large spreadsheets affects the decision and actions that contribute to the ability of the user to understand relevant information (Woods, 1984;Woods and Watts, 1997). Helander et al. (1997) termed this effect has a key-hole effect where the users navigate through zoom and move-to actions to interpret a spreadsheet. ...
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Purpose Until now, the usage and usability factors of Construction Operation Building information exchange (COBie) datasheet have remained largely overlooked. This oversight may be the potential factor in the lower adoption rates as well as the effective usage of COBie datasheet in the architecture, engineering and construction-facilities management industry. The purpose of this study is to investigate the benefits and key issues associated with COBie datasheet handling and identify the key technological solutions, which can help in mitigating the identified issues. Design/methodology/approach A literature review was conducted to identify the key benefits of using COBie and issues, which are associated with COBie datasheet handling. This paper has also designed a questionnaire based on a literature review and surveyed professionals who are well versed with handling COBie datasheet. Using responses, the issues are analyzed and discussed using non-parametric statistical analysis. Findings A total of 9 key benefits and 24 key issues categorized under three groups of usability issues, technical issues and organizational/other issues were identified. The results from the survey agree with all the key issues associated with COBie datasheet handling (with 86 responses). This research also proposes key ideas, that can help in mitigating these issues. Originality/value There is a paucity in published literature, which discusses in detail about the various issues associated with COBie datasheet handling. This research study aims to address this gap by identifying key issues by looking at the entire COBie data-capturing process holistically. Finding from this study can help professionals to understand these issues and develop appropriate technological solutions, which can make COBie data capturing and understanding easier. The findings could also assist in increasing the adoption rate of COBie, which could be achieved through mitigation of identified issues.
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... This is actually a very flexible interface for organizing data for analysis and new folders can easily be created by the user for user-defined collections and populated by simply copying from other folders. The Google Earth display is also an example of an overview display (Chapman & Carlson, 2004;Woods & Watts, 1997). Overview displays include specific capabilities to support interactions with the display. ...
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