Browsing techniques for mitigating display-size constraints

Sammanfattning: One of the many challenges with interface design concerns how to present and retrieve information on a display. The smaller the display is, the bigger the challenge. A typical task that requires a lot of screen space is image browsing. Several studies have been conducted in the past, but with conflicting results. This thesis includes a literature survey on browsing techniques, two user studies comparing image-browsing techniques on an electronic bulletin board, an analysis of visual factors affecting the usability of image browsing, and a user study on mobile phone interfaces. The image-browser comparisons involved three types of browsers (iconic, bifocal, and zoom-and-pan). The first experiment was conducted on a regular 19" desktop display. For the second user study, the browsers were modified and run on a 50" plasma display with a 3D input device. Results from both studies showed that an iconic interface was most efficient. Observations made during the user experiments resulted in an analysis of layout and presentation factors that have an impact on usability of image-browsers, in particular task completion time. The main purpose was to identify unwanted confounding factors in image-browser tests, but the analysis could also be used for setting up future experiments and explaining results from such tests. The mobile phone study is a comparison of interfaces of two different mobile brands. Displays and user interfaces for mobile phones have developed a lot since this study was conducted, but design for small displays is still a highly relevant topic.

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