Enhanced Visual Authoring Using Interaction History

July 30, 2009
2pm - 3pm
Halligan 111A
Speaker: Sara Su, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Graphical editors have introduced great flexibility to the creative workflow, providing a powerful digital toolbox and enabling the creation of complex, compelling designs. In this talk, I will present methods for augmenting these processes with interaction history. Much instrumentation and activity logging in software has been for the purpose of debugging, that is, for the benefit of the programmer or analyst. My work addresses the mining of history for the benefit of the end user. I will present three main contributions in this area. First, I will introduce selection expansion, a method for facilitating the reuse of complex selections by identifying items that are likely to be edited together. I will then discuss an extension of this work, soft grouping, which gives users more control than standard selection and more flexibility than standard grouping. Finally, I will present an interactive visualization enabling in-context browsing and manipulation of a document's history. While we have thus far focused on usage patterns in visual authoring, strategies using interaction history could be generalized to other domains, and I will discuss directions for future work. Time allowing, I will present an overview of related work on graphical tools to support user productivity and creativity.