MAS 961 week 4: Inhabiting an information landscape


Hill and Hollan. 1992. Edit wear and read wear

Bederson, B., Hollan, J., Perlin, K., Meyer, J., Bacon, D., and Furnas, G. 1996. Pad++: A Zoomable Graphical Sketchpad for Exploring Alternate Interface Physics. Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, 7, 3-31.

Websom (various papers are on the site, this is a good start)

Rebecca Xiong, WebFan

Minar, Nelson. Visualizing the Crowds at a Website

Wexelblat, A. and Maes. P. Footprints: History-Rich Tools for Information Foraging


Bulletin boards, newsgroups, and email lists all accumulate an ever-growing archive of texts. Data-mining looks at this archive as a trove of information. Here, we will look at it as an environment, an evolving information landscape upon which the participants conduct their conversations.

In the readings, the Hill and Hollan paper is a bit of conceptual background for thinking about the depiction of reading and use in an archive of information. The Pad++ and Websom papers described interfaces that could be used for creating the "information space". The Xiong, Minar and Wexelblat & Maes papers each describe interfaces that address the problem of depicting the inhabitants of an information space.


1. Read the papers.

2. Think about what a newsgroup (or groups) would look like as an inhabited information space. How would the space be rendered? How would one navigate through it? What would one see of the other visitors? How would the users interact with the archive? How would new contributions appear? What about ancient ones?

3. Sketch a plan for such a space. The central notion is that there is a growing archive of information that serves as a common environment for a group of electronically connected people. Beyond that, the interface is yours to design: they may be accessing it via high-powered cell phones;it may be an immersive information-surround experience; it may be a well designed desktop application. You should think about how the archival landscape can best be used to facilitate interaction among people, as well as information finding.

This assignment is due Sunday Please submit your work online. If you have any problems with doing so, send email to Andrew Fiore