Information in Three Dimensions

The top article explores some intruiging methods for visual navigation and organization of information, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional. This takes the concepts of the Visual Thesaurus and AquaBrowser to another level. I particularly love the example of the 3D Vase Museum (the next two articles deal with it exclusively), where vases can be "walked" beside as arranged on one "wall" in a chronological timeline order, and on a second wall arranged according to their visual characteristics (red figures, black figures, etc.).

The usability results of this interface were impressive. Users using the 3D version of the Vase Museum performed pre-defined tasks 33% better and almost three times faster than those who used the traditional digital library version.

I love this. It only makes sense that using a 3D digital library environment in the same way you would walk through a physical museum is intuitive for users. And the arrangement of vases along two "walls" creates another level of information-relating on a more subtle, intuitive level by using physical space and images instead of gobs and gobs of text. This reminds me of how the Visual Thesaurus uses a similar concept of proximity to connote relationships between words, and how the Ambient Orb uses changing colors to visually convey information about the weather or stock prices.

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