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Peripheral Vision in Icon View

Way of seeing more
  [vote for,

Current situation: Open a window and see icons. There may be icons occluded off to the left, right, up or down of the window's viewport. Scrolling is seen as the way to get to those unknown invisible items that may or may not exist. If you're dragging an icon already, hoping to find, say, a folder to drop onto that might exist in there somewhere, it's presently a guesswork operation which way to go.

What about: vary the apparent size of the icons, from "normal" in the centre of the window, to "probably too tiny to see what it is, but you can see it exists" at the absolute edge of the universe of the viewport. In this idea, the 'centre' of the window stays in the middle, but the 'centre' of the contents pans (in a sort of manner that would suggest that the icons are printed on a rubber 'balloon' surface, and it's stretching more to one direction or another as you pan, thus bringing the focus into 'normal' size).

Not a very good description - will amend. It's a thing that's been preoccupying me for a few weeks, but originally as a still-photography effect, of how to 'step down' the periphery of a photograph to give the effect of wide-angle, and yet maintain the apparent visual concentration in the centre of the image that we are familiar with in our mental representations.

Ian Tindale, Jun 16 2005

Typical Fisheye List Control UI demo http://www.samuelwa...isheyeMenuDemo.html
Flash required. [bristolz, Jun 16 2005]

StarTree (links to applet demo) http://www.inxight.com/products/sdks/st/
Hyperbolic tree, used as icon-based navigation. [till, Jun 17 2005]

FishEyeTabs http://www.lkozma.net/fisheyetabs
Similar idea as a firefox extension. For tab labels though, not for icons [lkozma, Sep 08 2007]


       Sounds like an interesting idea to me.

How about one of the Computer: Browsing categories?
DrBob, Jun 16 2005

       It's an interesting one this. How to make best use of the desktop metaphor when the virtual desktop is measured in square inches rather than square feet.   

       I like the aim, but I'm not sure that I'd be willing to give up any of my valuable screen real estate for this scroll aid. I'd be keener on something like an overlay where the whole page is shown as a translucent layer above the window with the window shown as a box on the traslucent layer. The overlay could be turned on when scrolling and off during normal use.   

       [+], though as I like the concept even though I've got niggles with the implementation.
st3f, Jun 16 2005

       Is this like the weird 'zooming' feature of the MacOS X dock?
hippo, Jun 16 2005

       Xerox had a 3D UI with perspective and off screen windows
theircompetitor, Jun 16 2005

       hippo, - an aspect of this would be like an aspect of that. Generally yes it'd be a two-dimensional version of that, window-wide, but unlike dragging something onto the dock, it'd hopefully be satisfying to use, rather than bringing with it an aspect of terror (remembering the time I dragged a selection of about 200 documents onto a dock icon and naturally missed).
Ian Tindale, Jun 16 2005

       That does sound alot like the zoom effect used (to a lesser extreme) in Mac OSX.
Freefall, Jun 16 2005

       If I am interpreting this correctly...This exists as a variation of the "fisheye" interface and working much as described here with stuff in the middle being bigger and progressively scaling smaller as moved to the periphery of the screen. This way, huge amounts of icons, program groups, etc., can be stored at the screen edges and as they are dragged to the center of the screen they get big. It's very intuitive in practice.   

       In the demos I've seen and used the objects that can be "moved to the edge in a shrunken state" can be much more than just icons, they can be open applications and, even, groups of applications that, together, represent some logical user task. The idea is that task switching time and burden is lowered when you can slide entire instances of an application and associated content and work product off into the periphery and then easily recall it merely by dragging it back into the active fisheye region. The scaling happens progressively, controlled by a curve-fitting algorithm, with the region of active scaling extending from the display edges to either the exact center of the display or to the edges of the fisheye focus region.   

       The technique is distinct from, and the practical inverse of, the typical fisheye list controls where the focus area (hover or select) is "moved to the object" by instead having the fisheye region be fixed in the center of the screen and requiring the user to "move the object to the fisheye" focus.
bristolz, Jun 16 2005

       cool listbox, [bristolz]. love it.
theircompetitor, Jun 16 2005

DrBob, Jun 16 2005

       Yeah, the link is awesome. Idea's not bad, either ;)
moomintroll, Jun 16 2005

       I've seen something like this for news headlines on the web. Damned if I can remember what it was called, to find it now.
waugsqueke, Jun 17 2005

       This seems like it would be bittersweet, to say the least. Who needs so much desktop space, and who wants to search around for a really small icon? I wouldn't want it clogging my RAM.
lebobtheavenger, Jun 17 2005

       Well, clearly not you. As for me, I'll take as much screen space as I can.   

       You should try out that non-clogging RAM.
bristolz, Jun 17 2005


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