Publication: Finding Things In Fisheyes: Memorability in Distorted Spaces

Interactive fisheye views use distortion to show both local detail and global context in the same display space. Although fisheyes allow the presentation and inspection of large data sets, the distortion effects can cause problems for users. One such problem is memorability – the ability to find and go back to objects and features in the data. In this paper we investigate the issue of how people remember object locations in distorted spaces, using a Sarkar-Brown fisheye lens that drastically affects the space. We carried out two studies. The first gathered information about what memory strategies people choose at increasing levels of distortion, without presupposing any particular strategy. The second looked more closely at how two particular strategies (maintaining a mental map, and using landmarks in the data) affected memory performance. We found that as distortion increases, people do use different memory strategies and that at higher levels of distortion, landmarks become increasingly important as memory aids.




Amy Skopik Carl Gutwin
University of Saskatchewan


Navigating Abstract Data Spaces With Fish-eye Lenses
An information space is a broad term used to describe everything from a web site structure to a network schematic to a single text document.


Skopik, A., Gutwin, C. 2003. Finding Things In Fisheyes: Memorability in Distorted Spaces. In Proceedings of Graphics Interface, 47-56.


@inproceedings {memorability-gi03,
author= {Amy Skopik and Carl Gutwin},
title= {Finding Things In Fisheyes: Memorability in Distorted Spaces},
booktitle= {Proceedings of Graphics Interface},
year= {2003},
pages= {47-56}