Rules for Visual Information Systems

  • Overview: Gain an overview of the entire collection.
  • Zoom: Zoom in on items of interest
  • Filter: filter out uninteresting items.
  • Details-on-demand: Select an item or group and get details when needed.
  • Relate: View relationships among items.
  • History: Keep a history of actions to support undo, replay, and progressive refinement.
  • Extract: Allow extraction of sub-collections and of the query parameters.

— The Eyes Have It: A Task by Data Type Taxonomy for Information Visualizations

  • for best visual accessibility in UI, users should start with an overview, with ability to zoom-in/out (ZUI)
  • filtering is crucial when dealing with a lot of informations
    • I think we should also optimize for scanability of the information
  • details should be only given when requested
  • relationships are interesting to point out, this is how links get formed
  • history seems obvious to have, but I believe that the way most current software tackles history could be improved upon
  • extraction is an interesting topic:
    • getting out raw information pack is obvious, but how does it then related to the place where it was originally found? - computers are notoriously bad at this, to the point where common way of sharing things is sending flattened screenshots
    • maybe extraction could be a saved view on top of the data?
  • this rules are very relevant to both Browsing, and Searching