An evaluation of techniques for browsing photograph collections on small displays

Patel, D., Marsden, G., Jones, S. R., Jones, M. (2004) S. Brewster and M. Dunlop (eds), Proc Sixth International Symposium on Mobile Human-Computer Interaction (MobileHCI’04), LNCS 3160, Glasgow, UK, 132-143. Springer Verlag.

In this paper we evaluate techniques for browsing photographs on small displays. We present two new interaction techniques that replace conventional scrolling and zooming controls. Via a single user action, scrolling and zooming are inter-dependently controlled with AutoZoom and independently controlled with GestureZoom. Both techniques were evaluated in a large-scale, 72-subject usability experiment alongside a conventional thumbnail grid image browser. Performance with the new techniques was at least as good as that with the standard thumbnail grid, even though none of the subjects had prior experience with such systems. In a number of cases ­ such as finding small groups of photos or when seeking for images containing small details ­ the new techniques were significantly faster than the conventional approach. In addition, AutoZoom and GestureZoom supported significantly more accurate identification of subsets of photographs. Subjects also reported lower levels of physical and cognitive effort and frustration with the new techniques in comparison to the thumbnail grid browser.