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Re: freebase parallax: user interface for browsing graphs of data

From: David Huynh <dfhuynh@alum.mit.edu>
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2008 18:10:21 -0700
Message-ID: <48AB6EFD.4090402@alum.mit.edu>
To: Michiel Hildebrand <Michiel.Hildebrand@cwi.nl>
CC: public-lod@w3.org, semantic-web@w3c.org

Michiel Hildebrand wrote:
> Designing user interfaces for "new" ways of exploration is indeed 
> difficult. Evaluating these interfaces is even more difficult.
> In our current research we have deliberately simplified the tasks that 
> we try to support with our designs, so that we are able to do some 
> form of evaluation. (Term search from multiple thesauri to support 
> annotation).
>
> The nice thing of your previous projects (timeline, exhibit) was that 
> they were evaluated by the community. Their success may indicate that 
> they are useful. Is this approach your intention? I haven't read your 
> thesis yet, maybe the answer to this question is in there.
> Do you think a similar process can happen for parallax?
> If so, what are the tasks people will perform using this interface?
>
> I like your screencast as it gives a good idea of the functionality, 
> but the actual results of the "interactive query building" is not 
> something I would need. Who are the users that will need it? Have you 
> already had reactions of users that good find (create sets) that they 
> really needed?
It's very perceptive of you to ask about the tasks that Parallax is 
presumed to address, and who the users are. I don't have a specific 
answer beside "browsing graph of data more efficiently".

I tend to think that contemporary graph-based data browsers either fly 
the user at 50,000 feet and show her the whole world in one window below 
(render a huge data graph as a huge visual graph), or leave her at the 
street level to wander around on foot (single resource view). I'm just 
wishing to provide her a car. Perhaps the good thing is that the car 
doesn't come with a destination built in. (It'd be quite bad in real 
life if you need different cars to go grocery shopping and to go to 
work, for example.)

As for user reactions, here is one:
    
http://www.spellboundblog.com/2008/08/16/freebase-parallax-search-olympic-games-facts/
I don't know if the results were useful to the blogger or she was just 
having fun browsing around.

David
Received on Wednesday, 20 August 2008 01:11:27 UTC

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