An Interview-Based User Study on the use of Visualizations for Folder Browsing

Maria Golemati, Akrivi Katifori, Eugenia G. Giannopoulou, Ilias Daradimos, Costas Vassilakis, George Lepouras, Constantin Halatsis
Proceedings of IV 08,

Hierarchically structured data collections often need to be visualized for the purposes of digital information management and presentation. File browsing, in particular, has an inherent hierarchical structure and plays an important role in the context of Personal Information Management (PIM). A multitude of file browsers are nowadays available, offering different functionalities, while users adopt diverse practices and habits for browsing activities. In this paper, we investigate these aspects to obtain insights into their advantages and disadvantages and suggest solutions in the area of PIM, as well as in other domains employing similar visualization paradigms. The presented study focuses on the two most widespread visualizations used by file browsers, namely the indented list and zoomable interface paradigms, and assesses their effectiveness for various tasks and contexts, both by exploiting results on existing evaluations on hierarchy visualizations and folder hierarchy visualizations in particular, and by conducting an interview-based user study.

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