liquid browsing is a very important interaction technology
originating from the "iworld" knowledge browsing concept.
the so called "liquid 2D scatter space" is one of the many
visual interactive spaces (ispaces) of the iworld visualzation
it has it's greatest strength in comparing a lot of information
objects at the same time by making it possible to perceive
very high information densities with up to 7 quality dimensions simultaneously (focus and context).
this is achieved mainly by optimizing visual interactive details
and introducing liquid browsing as an interaction method
to solve the overlapping problem of interactive 2D scatter graphs.
first empirical studies show, that L2DSS can improve knowledge
browsing efficiency greatly and can be used in a wide range of
applications (like file systems, media libraries, map browsing,
email,...in principle: wherever we use sortable lists or table views
today...(more than 90% of our knowledge based applications).
the more items you need to see (or the smaller the screenspace
you have), the more helpful L2DSS will be.
its ability to effortlessly adapt to different screen sizes and
allowing very high information densities makes it especially
interesting for mobile applications.
if you wonder about the "aqua-look" of our prototypes:
they were optimized for a presentation at WWDC 2003 for
apple computer in san francisco.
a good start is to see this movie (quicktime, size: 7MB).
you will see the flash prototype (see "use it") in action, which
is very important because the UI is highly motion-based.
here is a little interface example in flash, that let's you play aroud with the parameters of the "liquid"-effect:
(just browse around...by klicking you can simulate a
pen_pressure_change...also try different values and have
a look at our curious presets ;-)
this was one of our first prototypes and it was still not
working too well. you will find much more advanced
algorithms in some of our "use it" prototypes.
to get a better felling for it you can test this flash prototype.
it can read and visualize XML datasets. this example reads an XML
of the 250 best movies of this planet (Internet Movie Database: IMDb).
(please note: this prototype is from 2003 and is not the state
of the art implementation. soon you will find here the new
liquid browsing showcases based on other technologies like java,
eclipse, ajax, C++, QT and XAML. but maybe this one is still
good to get a feeling for the basic concepts.):
there are a lot of different liquid browsing types and application areas.
one of them is the filesystem. Liquifile is available since early 2006 and is
not just a prototype but a really helpful and versatile tools for everyday use.
we are using the liquid browsing possibilities in a slightly modified way here,
to keep the learning curve small and offer a very finder-like behavior.
you should really check it out, because it can do little wonders for you:
for the first time ever you will find files that you do not know the filename of
AND even no other search term you could search for within the content AND
you do not remember where exactly it is located on your disk. Liquifile is the
only tool in the world (as far as we know) that will help you find things like
that in seconds. right now it is "mac only" but the windows version is coming...
for more sophisticated insights, download the scientific papers here: