Computing That Serves

Move to Improve: Promoting Physical Navigation to Increase user Performance with Large Displays


Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 11:00am


Robert Ball, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin

In navigating large information spaces, previous work indicates potential advantages of physical navigation (moving eyes, head, body) over virtual navigation (zooming, panning, flying). However, there is also indication of users preferring or settling into the less efficient virtual navigation. Dr. Ball will present a study that examines these issues in the context of large, high resolution displays. The study identifies specific relationships between display size, amount of physical and virtual navigation, and user task performance. Increased physical navigation on larger displays correlates with reduced virtual navigation and improved user performance. Analyzing the differences between this study and previous results helps to identify design factors that afford and promote the use of physical navigation in the user interface. 


Dr. Ball is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. He recently finished a post-doctoral position at Virginia Tech where he also completed his doctoral work. He previously obtained his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees at BYU. His area of research is in human-computer interaction and information visualization.