Publication: Fisheye Views are Good for Large Steering Tasks

Fisheye views use distortion to provide both local detail and global context in a single continuous view. However, the distorted presentation can make it more difficult to interact with the data; it is therefore not clear whether fisheye views are good choices for interactive tasks. To investigate this question, we tested the effects of magnification and representation on user performance in a basic pointing activity called steering – where a user moves a pointer along a predefined path in the workspace. We looked specifically at magnified steering, where the entire path does not fit into one view. We tested three types of fisheye at several levels of distortion, and also compared the fisheyes with two non-distorting techniques. We found that increasing distortion did not reduce steering performance, and that the fisheyes were faster than the nondistorting techniques. Our results show that in situations where magnification is required, distortion-oriented views can be effective representations for interactive tasks.




Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan
Amy Skopik


Navigating Abstract Data Spaces With Fish-eye Lenses
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Gutwin, C., Skopik, A. 2003. Fisheye Views are Good for Large Steering Tasks. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 201-208.


@inproceedings {steering-chi03,
author= {Carl Gutwin and Amy Skopik},
title= {Fisheye Views are Good for Large Steering Tasks},
booktitle= {Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},
year= {2003},
pages= {201-208}