To appear in ACM Computing Surveys as “A Review of Overview+Detail, Zooming, and Focus+Context Interfaces. ACM Computing Surveys.
There are many interface schemes that allow users to work at, and move between, focused and contextual views. We review and categorise these schemes according to the interface mechanisms used to separate and blend views. The four approaches are spatial separation, typified by overview+detail interfaces; temporal separation, typified by zoomable interfaces; seamless focus+context, typified by fisheye views; and cue-based techniques which selectively highlight or suppress items within the information space. Critical features of these categories, and evidence of their success, are discussed. The aim is to provide a succinct summary of the state-of-the-art, to illuminate successful and unsuccessful interface strategies, and to identify potentially fruitful areas for further work.