A framework for designing information seeking interfaces

1999 – 2003

AgileViews is a framework for designing interfaces for information seeking. I developed this framework in the late 1990's and early 2000's, ultimately making it the topic of my doctoral dissertation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The AgileViews framework posited that we can improve information seeking by providing users with agile control over information spaces through the use of alternative views and simple mechanisms for coordinating these views. By explicitly defining and coordinating overviews, previews, peripheral, and shared views, in addition to content-specific views, interfaces could enable users with diverse backgrounds and information needs to more effectively find the information they need. Many of the interface ideas I explored in my AgileViews research later became commonplace in web-based user interfaces, such as the mouseover item previews used by NetFlix and Google's instant preview of search results.

In an early (1999-2000) implementation of the AgileViews framework, I developed a system called Enriched Links, which presented users with small pop-up visualizations containing information about the resources represented by hyperlinks on web pages. Users activated the agile views simply by moving the mouse over a hyperlink, which causes a pop-up window to appear next to the link (this was a much more novel idea at the time than it is today). The pop-up window provided immediate, intuitive access to several types of views, such as a thumbnail preview of the linked page; information about the page's title, filesize, and last update; and its access history. By examining one or more views, users could quickly evaluate the potential relevance of a linked resource to their particular information seeking need before spending the time and cognitive effort to navigate to the resource and wait for it to load. In developing the AgileViews framework, I applied the Enriched Links idea to a range of information seeking situations, such as exploring movie recommendations, search result pages, and digital video previews.

Related Publications

Geisler, G. (2003). AgileViews: A framework for creating more effective information seeking interfaces.Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation.
Geisler, G., Marchionini, G., Nelson, M.L., Spinks, R. & Yang, M. (2001). Interface concepts for the Open Video Project. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the American Society for Information Science (ASIS&T 2003), 58-75.
Marchionini, G., Geisler, G., & Brunk, B. (2000). AgileViews: A human-centered framework for interfaces to information spaces. In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the American Society for Information Science (ASIS 2000), 271-280.
Geisler, G. (2000). Enriched Links: A framework for improving web navigation using pop-up views.UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Technical Report TR-2000-02.

Related Information

Recommendation Explorer project Link
Open Video Project Link
Open Video Digital Library Toolkit Project Link