Publication: A Comparison of Fisheye Lenses for Interactive Layout Tasks

Interactive fisheye views allow users to edit data and manipulate objects through the distortion lens. Although several varieties of fisheye lens exist, little is known about how the different types fare for different interactive tasks. In this paper, we investigate one kind of interaction – layout of graphical objects – that can be problematic in fisheyes. Layout involves judgments of distance, alignment, and angle, all of which can be adversely affected by the distortion of a fisheye. We compared performance on layout tasks with three kinds of fisheye: a full-screen pyramid lens, a constrained hemispherical lens, and a constrained flat-topped hemisphere. We found that accuracy was significantly better with the constrained lenses compared to the full-screen lens, and also that the simple hemisphere was better at higher levels of distortion than the flat-topped version. The study shows that although there is a cost to doing layout through distortion, it is feasible, particularly with constrained lenses. In addition, our findings provide initial empirical evidence of the differences between competing fisheye varieties.




Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Christopher Fedak


Gutwin, C., Fedak, C. 2004. A Comparison of Fisheye Lenses for Interactive Layout Tasks. In Proceedings of Graphics Interface, 53-60.


@inproceedings {layout-gi04,
author= {Carl Gutwin and Christopher Fedak},
title= {A Comparison of Fisheye Lenses for Interactive Layout Tasks},
booktitle= {Proceedings of Graphics Interface},
year= {2004},
pages= {53-60}