Publication: Multiblending: Displaying Overlapping Windows Simultaneously Without the Drawbacks of Alpha Blending

Alpha blending allows the simultaneous display of overlapping windows--such as palette windows in visual workspaces. Although alpha blending has been used in some applications, such as games, it has not been widely adopted. One reason for the limited acceptance is that in many scenarios, alpha blending compromises the readability of content. We introduce a new blending mechanism called multiblending that uses a vector of blending weights, one for each class of features, rather than a single transparency value. Multiblending can in most cases be automatically optimized to preserve the most relevant features of both the palette and the background window. We present the results of a user study in which multiblended palettes provided higher recognizability of both the background and the palette than the best participating version of alpha blending.

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Participants

Patrick Baudisch
Microsoft Research
Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan

Citation

Baudisch, P., Gutwin, C. 2004. Multiblending: Displaying Overlapping Windows Simultaneously Without the Drawbacks of Alpha Blending. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 367-374.

BibTeX

@inproceedings {multiblending,
author= {Patrick Baudisch and Carl Gutwin},
title= {Multiblending: Displaying Overlapping Windows Simultaneously Without the Drawbacks of Alpha Blending},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},
year= {2004},
pages= {367-374}
}