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example-reading-questions

These are example questions / comments taken from the InfoVis course of Dr. Tamara Munzner at UBC. Obviously I would like you to formulate great questions every time.

Just good enough:
  • This seems like something fun to play around with, are there any real implementations of this? Has a good application for this type of zooming been found? Is there still a real need for this now that scroll wheels have become prevailent and most people don’t even use the scroll bar anymore?
  • Playing with the applet, I find I like half of their approach. It’s nice to zoom out as my scroll speed increases, but then I don’t like the automatic zoom in when I stop scrolling. Searching the overview I found the location I wanted, but while I paused and looked at the overview, I fell back in to the closeup. I think they need to significantly dampen their curve.
Better:
  • It would be interesting to compare the approach in this paper to some other less-mathematically-thought-out zoom and pan solutions to see if it is really better. Sometimes ”faking it” is perceived to be just as good (or better) by users.
  • The space-scale diagrams provided a clear intuition of why zooming out, panning then zooming in is a superior navigation technique. However, I found the diagram too cumbersome for practical use, especially for objects with zoom-dependent representations (Figure 11).
Great:
  • I’m curious as to what would have happened if the authors had simply preselected the values of the free parameters for the participants in their user study, and then had the users compare their technique to the standard magnification tools present in a ’normal’ application (much like the space-scale folks did). Could it be that the users are ‘manufacturing’ a large standard deviation in the free parameter specifications by settling for values that merely produce a local improvement in their ability to manipulate the interface, instead of actively searching for an optimal valuation scheme?
  • In a related vein, the speed-dependent automatic zooming met with mixed success on some applications. Isn’t this success related to how ”compressible” some information is? i.e. because zooming must necessarily throw out some information, it isn’t obvious which information to keep around to preserve the navigable structure.

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