Publication: Supporting Window Switching with Spatially Consistent Thumbnail Zones: Design and Evaluation

Computer users switch between applications and windows all day, but finding the target window can be difficult, particularly when the total number of windows is high. We describe the design and evaluation of a new window switcher called SCOTZ (for Spatially Consistent Thumbnail Zones). SCOTZ is a window switching interface which shows all windows grouped by application and allocates more space to the most frequently revisited applications. The two key design principles of SCOTZ are (1) predictability of window locations, and (2) improved accessibility of recently and frequently used windows. We describe the design and features of SCOTZ, and present the findings from qualitative and empirical studies which demonstrate that SCOTZ yields performance and preference benefits over existing window switching tools.

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Participants

S. Tak Joey Scarr
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Andy Cockburn
University of Canterbury

Citation

Tak, S., Scarr, J., Gutwin, C., Cockburn, A. 2011. Supporting Window Switching with Spatially Consistent Thumbnail Zones: Design and Evaluation. In Proc. Interact 2011, ISBN 978-3-642-23774-4. 331-347. DOI=10.1007/978-3-642-23774-4_27.

BibTeX

@inbook {456-supporting-window-switching,
author= {S. Tak and Joey Scarr and Carl Gutwin and Andy Cockburn},
title= {Supporting Window Switching with Spatially Consistent Thumbnail Zones: Design and Evaluation},
booktitle= {Proc. Interact 2011},
year= {2011},
pages= {331-347}
}