Piles, tabs and overlaps in navigation among documents

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Navigation among documents is a frequent, but ill supported activity. Overlapping or tabbed documents are widespread, but they offer limited visibility of their content. We explore variations on navigation support: arranging documents with tabs, as overlapping windows, and in piles. In an experiment we compared 11 participants’ navigation with these variations and found strong task effects. Overall, overlapping windows were preferred and their structured layout worked well with some tasks. Surprisingly, tabbed documents were efficient in tasks requiring simply finding a document. Piled documents worked well for tasks that involved visual features of the documents, but the utility of recency or stable ordering of documents was task dependent. Based on the results, we discuss the effects of spatial arrangement, visibility, and task-dependency, and suggest areas for future research on document navigation and its support by piling.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction : extending boundaries
Number of pages10
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2010
ISBN (Print)978-1-60558-934-3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: extending boundaries - Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 16 Oct 201020 Oct 2010
Conference number: 6


Conference6th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction

ID: 32431795