Interesting Flash interface

26 Oct 2004 - 1:01am
9 years ago
9 replies
2047 reads
Listera
2004

<http://www.ngf.org.uk/map/map.html>

What do you think?

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

Comments

26 Oct 2004 - 4:02am
Narey, Kevin
2004

Good find...

[IxDer hat on]
Nicely architected (nav), interesting content, logical use of movement....
[User hat on - I removed the other hat first...]
yet grossly unsatisfying from an interaction experience point of view. Feel
like I've been sold short by not being able to click.....
[IxDer hat back on]
I've always been very suspicious of using the mouseover event for
fundamental actions involving information transfer from system to user. It
feels like a paradigm (rightly or wrongly) is being broken.

I find that this works for something along the lines of a tooltip because
users don't normally look for tooltips to get around an application.

I do see this a lot however and continue to live with the click denial. Any
studies exist on 'the joy of clix'? Perhaps not.

Kevin

-----Original Message-----
From: Listera [mailto:listera at rcn.com]
Sent: 26 October 2004 07:01
To: IxD
Subject: [ID Discuss] Interesting Flash interface

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

<http://www.ngf.org.uk/map/map.html>

What do you think?

Ziya
Nullius in Verba

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26 Oct 2004 - 8:16am
Petteri Hiisilä
2004

Listera wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> <http://www.ngf.org.uk/map/map.html>
>
> What do you think?
>
> Ziya
> Nullius in Verba

That should be called "Flash porn."

It really rapes your head, when you're trying to keep track of how the
search "sentence" is forming, what more can I choose, and what the hell
is the site trying to accomplish anyway.

Yeah, it's cool, but almost useless.

If you want to form a "search sentence", I'd go for something much more
traditional. A drop-down solution would be a nice default.

But thanks for the tip. That's another tool in the toolbox anyway :)

- Petteri

26 Oct 2004 - 9:47am
dmitryn
2004

I found the interaction paradigm to actually be kind of neat. Things
that suck about this design in my opinion are:

- The information architecture: theme="human"???
- The choice of visulization for search results. It gives no clue
about the actual number of results in each place and is extremely
difficult to select from.
- The overall system metaphor - it doesn't look like any map I've ever seen.

Dmitry

On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 02:01:03 -0400, Listera <listera at rcn.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> <http://www.ngf.org.uk/map/map.html>
>
> What do you think?
>
> Ziya
> Nullius in Verba
>
> _______________________________________________
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> discuss at ixdg.org
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--
Dmitry Nekrasovski
http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~dmitry

26 Oct 2004 - 8:52am
ldebett
2004

> Yeah, it's cool, but almost useless.
>
- I agree with you there! I'm not a big fan of having to work for my
information disclosure. Circles that turn into lollipops don't have much
intrinsic meaning to me... and looking at the static map doesn't give me any
idea what I'm going to find there.

- I also want to know why people insist on declaring things "user-friendly"
(http://www.ngf.org.uk/flash.htm) when they're describing their stuff. What
exactly does that mean, anyway? Usable products should be the norm and
should not be a marketing catch phrase. "Oh, look honey!!! It's User
Friendly!! We must have it!!" It's like telling me that the pitbull in the
window of the pet store doesn't bite. LOL!!

~Lisa

26 Oct 2004 - 11:01am
Dan Zlotnikov
2004

The number of things that bugged me about this was quite high. It's
pretty and the navigation is neat, but that factor of "neat" would
wear off (at least it did for me) by the third visit. Not to mention,
I managed to get the system into an infinite loop. Not sure how I did
that...

Unlabeled buttons with rather drastic consequences.
*hits head* I seriously just figured it out: That's their LOGO! Okay,
so a three-symbol logo, with each one looking like a button, with each
one returning the user to the front page, and completely eliminating
any search results the user may have wanted to look at. Perhaps making
the actual bubbles look a bit less like the logo might have helped.

Because the bubble positions aren't static, I found it really hard to
actually pick one. In fact, there are points on the screen where
without the cursor moving, two bubbles would keep switching into
foreground.

That, along with the persistent state being with all bubbles
collapsed, would be enough to drive me crazy if I had to actually use
the map frequently.

Dan

--
WatCHI
http://www.acm.org/chapters/watchi

27 Oct 2004 - 2:03pm
Pradyot Rai
2004

This is a great UI example, if you want to see beyond the popular UI
design challenges. HTML is limited to what one can offer to users,
Flash has an alternative. This is just an example of that statement.
Is it usable? Is this example to demonstrate what more can be done on
thin client? All up for your guess...

Has anybody ever worked on the Data Mining/Data Visualization apps.?
Have you ever faced a question that user (say, Supply Chain Planning &
Operation Manager) at Caterpiller needs to visualization of his supply
chain which is 7 stage long, and 100,000 nodes complex. How would you
facilitate his decision making with your UI design "voodoo" skills?

Last time when I worked on one such problem, we came across 2
companies that were doing something for visualization -- Tom Sawyer
(www.tomsawyer.com) & Inxight. Both had Java Servlets for thin client.
There was no option with Flash or SVG, else I would have jumped for
it.

Prady

27 Oct 2004 - 3:31pm
Mark Schindler
2003

> Have you ever faced a question that user (say, Supply Chain Planning &
> Operation Manager) at Caterpiller needs to visualization of his supply
> chain which is 7 stage long, and 100,000 nodes complex. How would you
> facilitate his decision making with your UI design "voodoo" skills?
>

I've followed this thread with interest. This example (1 > 7 > 100k) is
typical of a class of problem we frequently try to address with dynamic data
visualization apps we create ourselves in Flash. We've been focused on this
kind of thing for awhile, and are always on the lookout for good 3rd party
tools. (I hadn't heard of Tom Sawyer, looks interesting). So far, though,
we've haven't found tools that offer enough flexibility. One other dataviz
model I can think of that's commercially available is the toolset used to
create the MarketMap visualization. (http://www.smartmoney.com/marketmap/)

> Last time when I worked on one such problem, we came across 2
> companies that were doing something for visualization -- Tom Sawyer
> (www.tomsawyer.com) & Inxight. Both had Java Servlets for thin client.
> There was no option with Flash or SVG, else I would have jumped for
> it.
>

-Mark
Mark Schindler
Vice President, Technology and Innovation
Visual i/o
285 Washington Street | Somerville MA 02143 USA
tel. +1 617 623 5400 x23

mschindler at visual-io.com
www.visual-io.com

27 Oct 2004 - 3:37pm
dmitryn
2004

Prady,

The research group I am a part of has developed a (free) node-link
visualization tool that currently scales up to 2 million nodes.
Contact me directly for more information.

Cheers,

Dmitry

On Wed, 27 Oct 2004 15:03:15 -0400, Prady Rai <pradyotrai at gmail.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> This is a great UI example, if you want to see beyond the popular UI
> design challenges. HTML is limited to what one can offer to users,
> Flash has an alternative. This is just an example of that statement.
> Is it usable? Is this example to demonstrate what more can be done on
> thin client? All up for your guess...
>
> Has anybody ever worked on the Data Mining/Data Visualization apps.?
> Have you ever faced a question that user (say, Supply Chain Planning &
> Operation Manager) at Caterpiller needs to visualization of his supply
> chain which is 7 stage long, and 100,000 nodes complex. How would you
> facilitate his decision making with your UI design "voodoo" skills?
>
> Last time when I worked on one such problem, we came across 2
> companies that were doing something for visualization -- Tom Sawyer
> (www.tomsawyer.com) & Inxight. Both had Java Servlets for thin client.
> There was no option with Flash or SVG, else I would have jumped for
> it.
>
> Prady
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Interaction Design Discussion List
> discuss at ixdg.org
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> to change your options (unsubscribe or set digest): http://discuss.ixdg.org/
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> --
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--
Dmitry Nekrasovski
http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~dmitry

28 Oct 2004 - 9:53am
Pradyot Rai
2004

> When it comes to Data Mining and Data Visualization apps, I personally don't
> think that a UI Designer should be designing the visual representations
> unless they have a significant data visualization/information design
> background. I'd suggest getting an information designer that is experienced
> in data visualization to do the job. Information design does not equal UI
> design.

I found most of the discussion points enlightening, except this one. I
don't know what "experience(d)" makes the "Information Designer"
elevated more than "Interaction Designer". I would like to understand
these two adjectives. I am not sure which one do I belong to. But, if
you want, leave that to some other thread.

Here's what a mediocre person like me will ask (for a visualization
problem) -- Give me 1. Population (complete definition), 2. Node
parameters, 3. Path parameters, and tell me what all type of analysis/
reporting is required. Simple. Tell me, what is wrong in this
approach?

A person having experience with data structures, datasets, databases
is complete misnomer. This person should know what visualization
means(?) and when looks can become deceiving art-forms(?)

> One of the biggest problems with data visualization and reporting is that
> often the wrong information is retrieved and the end user ends up with a
> pretty visualization with the wrong information.

Or visa versa. There are so many visualization examples that gives
right information, but intimidate users and are seldom used.

Right, there's no guarantee with any single expert. This is a complex
problem and team creates the product, not the designers. Analysts,
Developers, designers, usability dudes, all are the agents who pool
in.

I am happy to see this discussion forming some meaningful conclusions,
rather than throwing it in the water saying, "it is not usable". And
that, we are looking at power of tools, alternatives (flash in this
case) as separate thing than it's application (as Listera provided).

Thanks,

Prady

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