Designing to facilitate browsing: A look back at the Hyperties workstation browser

TitleDesigning to facilitate browsing: A look back at the Hyperties workstation browser
Publication TypeReports
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsShneiderman B, Plaisant C, Botafogo R, Hopkins D, Weiland W
Series TitleTechnical Reports of the Computer Science Department, University of Maryland
Date Published1998/10/15/
KeywordsTechnical Report

Since browsing hypertext can present a formidable cognitivechallenge, user interface design plays a major role in determining
acceptability. In the Unix workstation version of Hyperties, a
research-oriented prototype, we focussed on design features that
facilitate browsing. We first give a general overview of Hyperties
and its markup language. Customizable documents can be
generated by the conditional text feature that enables dynamic and
selective display of text and graphics. In addition we present:
- an innovative solution to link identification: pop-out graphical
buttons of arbitrary shape.
- application of pie menus to permit low cognitive load actions that
reduce the distraction of common actions, such as page turning
or window selection.
- multiple window selection strategies that reduce clutter and
housekeeping effort. We preferred piles-of-tiles, in which
standard-sized windows were arranged in a consistent pattern on
the display and actions could be done rapidly, allowing users to
concentrate on the contents.
(Also cross-referenced as CAR-TR-494)