Publication: Revisiting Read Wear: Analysis, Design, and Evaluation of a Footprints Scrollbar

In this paper, we show that people frequently return to previously-visited regions within their documents, and that scrollbars can be enhanced to ease this task. We analysed 120 days of activity logs from Microsoft Word and Adobe Reader. Our analysis shows that region revisitation is a common activity that can be supported with relatively short recency lists. This establishes an empirical foundation for the design of an enhanced scrollbar containing scrollbar marks that helps people return to previously visited document regions. Two controlled experiments show that scrollbar marks decrease revisitation time, and that a large number of marks can be used effectively. We then design an enhanced Footprints scrollbar that supports revisitation with several features, including scrollbar marks and mark thumbnails. Two further experiments show that the Footprints scrollbar was frequently used and strongly preferred over traditional scrollbars.

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Participants

Jason Alexander Andy Cockburn
University of Canterbury
Stephen Fitchett Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Saul Greenberg
University of Calgary

Citation

Alexander, J., Cockburn, A., Fitchett, S., Gutwin, C., Greenberg, S. 2009. Revisiting Read Wear: Analysis, Design, and Evaluation of a Footprints Scrollbar. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2009), 1665-1674. DOI=10.1145/1518701.1518957.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {144-p1665-alexander,
author= {Jason Alexander and Andy Cockburn and Stephen Fitchett and Carl Gutwin and Saul Greenberg},
title= {Revisiting Read Wear: Analysis, Design, and Evaluation of a Footprints Scrollbar},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2009)},
year= {2009},
pages= {1665-1674}
}