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Making Sense on Small Screens (30 Sep 2005)
Today’s ‘smart’ cell phones are designed to allow users to perform a set of comparably simple tasks, such as reproducing driving directions or recalling bookmarked websites. More demanding variants of the same activities, such as route planning or the interactive exploration of the web, on the other hand,
have received only limited or no support. And why should they--it is more convenient for users to perform these activities on their PCs to then simply upload the results to the device.

This, of course, assumes that users have access to a PC. In most cases, however, this assumption is wrong. There are 1.5 billion cell phones worldwide, but only 400 million PCs. The majority of phone users live in fact outside the western orld. For many of them the phone is the first and only digital device they own. In this talk I argue that these phones could be the opportunity to get access to the functionality of a networked computer and to participate in the digital
life of the first world. I am addressing this scenario from a human-computer interaction perspective. How can we display complex documents on displays the size of a stamp? How can users interact with such documents? I am presenting a selection of techniques: ‘halo’ helps users perform spatial reasoning on large maps; ‘summary thumbnails’ and ‘collapse-to-zoom’ allow users to make sense of web pages by compressing them to the size of the phone screen.
Article URL:
  88.23    (Patrick Baudisch, Microsoft Research)  

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