MAS 963  ·  Designing Sociable Media  ·  Spring 2007

03.08 Navigating information spaces

Information spaces draw from the metaphor of real world space, but have constraints and freedoms unknown in the physical world. The input and output devices (keyboard, mouse, and screen) constrain interaction and immersion within the space. However, we are also free to design transcendent spaces that grow and shrink, appear and disappear, are solid or strangely permeable; we can design novel ways of moving through these spaces.

This week we will focus on some issues in navigation - how to move through information spaces



Bederson, Hollan, Perlin, Meyer and Bacon    Pad++: A Zoomable Graphical Sketchpad For Exploring Alternate Interface Physics1
David Benyon    The New HCI? Navigation of Information Space submitted to Knowledge-based Systems


  • Read the papers
  • Design this controller:
    • We can make something bigger by zooming (which changes the viewer's eye), translating in which the viewer or object move closer to each other, or scaling in which the object itself grows bigger.
      Design a viewing controller that allows you to make something bigger each of these three ways. Your challenge is to make it clear and intuitive what transformation is occuring

  • Answer this question:
    • Is "zooming" the best way to think of what is happening in the Pad++ space? Is it scaling? translating? something else?

  • Sketch this space:
    • Tell a simple narrative - it can be an account of your morning, a story from the news or literature, an explanation of how to do something (like boil water, etc). Use a multiscale interface - like Pad++ - to tell the story. You can use words, images, photos, etc.

Please link your work by Wednesday night.