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Title: Interaction with high-resolution wall-size displays
Author: Rooney, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 0497
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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High-resolution wall-size (Powerwall) displays are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to display large quantities of data and the ever-reducing costs of com- modity hardware. The problem with these displays is that while the display size increases, the sizes of the interactive widgets do not. This problem is known as distal access. Two other problems of Powerwall displays are (i) window management, which is the issue of organising a large multi-window display space, and (ii) task management, which is how users manage multiple tasks in such a multi-window display space. The aim of this thesis is to identify how low-precision interaction can address these three problems and help users analyse data more quickly. To provide background, a study of desktop interaction was initially carried out. The study involved analysing the actions performed when completing visualisation tasks on three desktop visualisation applications. Results showed that interaction could be classi- fied on both the low-level motor actions, and high-level basic interaction tasks. The low- level motor actions were used to create a new classification of interaction that shows how desktop interaction techniques are not suitable for Powerwall displays, and why exist- ing interaction techniques for Powerwall displays are slower than the equivalent desktop techniques. Next, four low-precision (micro) solutions were developed for each of the four basic interaction tasks. The Power Lens is for selection and addresses distal access, the Manip- ulation Layer is for dragging and addresses distal access and window management, the On-Demand Menu is for menu navigation, and Power Keys is for symbolic input. Three laboratory-style evaluations were carried out to test how the Power Lens and Manipula- tion Layer compared against a traditional desktop-style interface when interacting with a Powerwall. The results found the Manipulation Layer to be significantly quicker that the desktop-style interface, and the Power Lens was significantly quicker for small targets. Finally, a suite of low-precision (macro) solutions was developed to address the issues of window management and task management. The solutions allow new windows to be opened at the user's current focal region without overlapping existing windows, and win- dows to be grouped so they can be moved simultaneously or spatially arranged together anywhere on the display. Windows can also be snapped against bezels. TWo data-analysis sessions were carried out to observe how both a domain expert and domain novices per- formed real data analysis with the use of the low-precision micro and macro solutions. Results showed that the Manipulation Layer, On-Demand Menu, Power Keys and win- dow snapping were used throughout, and that the domain novices were able to gain new insight into the data.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available