Challenges of User-Centered Applications - Visualization on and Interaction with Arbitrary Display Environments

  • Recent progresses and advances in the field of consumer electronics, driven by display technologies and also the sector of mobile, hand-held devices, enable new ways in presenting information to users, as well as new ways of user interaction, therefore providing a basis for user-centered applications and work environments. My thesis focuses on how arbitrary display environments can be utilized to improve both the user experience, regarding perception of information, and also to provide intuitive interaction possibilities. On the one hand advances in display technologies provide the basis for new ways of visualizing content and collaborative work, on the other hand forward-pressing developments in the consumer market, especially the market of smart phones, offer potential to enhance usability in terms of interaction and therefore can provide additional benefit for users. Tiled display setups, combining both large screen real estate and high resolution, provide new possibilities and chances to visualize large datasets and to facilitate col- laboration in front of a large screen area. Furthermore these display setups present several advantages over the traditional single-user-workspace environments: con- trary to single-user-workspaces, multiple users are able to explore a dataset displayed on a tiled display system, at the same time, thus allowing new forms of collabora- tive work. Based on that, face-to-face discussions are enabled, an additional value is added. Large displays also allow the utilization of the user’s spatial memory, al- lowing physical navigation without the need of switching between different windows to explore information. With Tiled++ I contributed a versatile approach to address the bezel problem. The bezel problem is one of the Top Ten research challenges in the research field of LCD- based tiled wall setups. By applying the Tiled++ approach a large high resolution Focus & Context screen is created, combining high resolution focus areas with low resolution context information, projected onto the bezel area. Additionally the field of user interaction poses an important challenge, especially regarding the utilization of large tiled displays, since traditional keyboard & mouse interaction devices reached their limits. My focus in this thesis is on Mobile HCI.Devices like mobile phones are utilized to interact with large displays, since they feature various interaction modalities and preserve user mobility. Large public displays, as a modernized form of traditional bulletin boards, also en- able new ways of handling information, displaying content, and user interaction. Utilized in hot spots, Digital Interactive Public Pinboards can provide an adequate answer to questions like how to approach pressing issues like disaster and crisis man- agement for both responders as well as citizens and also new ways of how to handle information flow (contribution & distribution & accession). My contribution to the research field of public display environments was the conception and implementa- tion of an easy-to-use and easy-to-set-up architecture to overcome shortcomings of current approaches and to cover the needs of aid personnel. Although being a niche, Virtual Reality (VR) environments can provide additional value for visualizing specific content. Disciplines like earth sciences & geology, me- chanical engineering, design, and architecture can benefit from VR environments. In order to consider the variety of users, I introduce a more intuitive and user friendly interaction metaphor, the ARC metaphor. Visualization challenges base on being able to cope with more and more complex datasets and to bridge the gap between comprehensibility and loss of information. Furthermore the visualization approach has to be reasonable, which is a crucial factor when working in interdisciplinary teams, where the standard of knowledge is diverse. Users have to be able to conceive the visualized content in a fast and reliable way. My contribution are visualization approaches in the field of supportive visualization. Finally, my work illuminates how the synthesis of visualization, interaction and dis- play technologies enhance the user experience. I promote a holistic view. The user is brought back into the focus of attention, provided with a tool-set to support him, without overextending the abilities of, for example, non-expert users, a crucial factor in the more and more interdisciplinary field of computer science.

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Author:Peter Scott Olech
Advisor:Achim Ebert, Jan Aurich
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Date of Publication (online):2013/08/15
Year of first Publication:2013
Publishing Institution:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institution:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2013/07/23
Date of the Publication (Server):2013/08/15
Page Number:VIII, 175
Faculties / Organisational entities:Kaiserslautern - Fachbereich Informatik
DDC-Cassification:0 Allgemeines, Informatik, Informationswissenschaft / 004 Informatik
Licence (German):Standard gemäß KLUEDO-Leitlinien vom 10.09.2012