Meaningful Presentations of Photo Libraries: Rationale and Applications of Bi-Level Radial Quantum Layouts (2005)

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Searching photo libraries can be made more satisfying and successful if search results are presented in a way that allows users to gain an overview of the photo categories. Since photo layouts on computer displays are the primary way that users get an overview, we propose a novel approach to show more photos in meaningful groupings. Photo layouts can be linear strips, or zoomable three dimensional arrangements, but the most common form is the flat two-dimensional grid. This paper introduces a novel bi-level hierarchical layout with motivating examples. In a bi-level hierarchy, one region is designated for primary content, which can be a single photo, text, graphic, or combination. Adjacent to that primary region, groups of photos are placed radially in an ordered fashion, such that the relationship of the single primary region to its many secondary regions is immediately apparent. A compelling aspect is the interactive experience in which the layout is dynamically resizable, allowing users to rapidly, incrementally, and reversibly alter the dimensions and content. It can accommodate hundreds of photos in dozens of regions, can be customized in a corner or center layout, and can scale from an element on a web page to a large poster size. On typical displays (1024 x 1280 or 1200 x 1600 pixels), bi-level radial quantum layouts can conveniently accommodate 2-20 regions with tens or hundreds of photos per region.