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Exploring the Efficiency of Various Zoom Tools in a Tracking Task

This study explored the advantage of using translucent magnification during internet browsing. Navigating within multiscale interfaces presents substantial difficulties to users because of the contradiction between the need to perceive the broad context of the data and the inportance of examining the finer details. Our translucent magnification allows internet users to simultaneously exploit two views of the internet content.  One is a general view (broad context view) and the other is a high resolution view (zoom-in view). In two different experiments, we compared participants' performance while they used a translucent magnifier and an opaque magnifier. In the map navigation task experiment, the new translucent zoom improved most performance measures. However, in the web page search task experiment, no such improvement was found. The conclusion of this study is that the advantage of translucent zoom is task-dependent.

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