Information Space Navigation: A Framework

  • Robert Spence
Part of the Computer Supported Cooperative Work book series (CSCW)


Navigation is a fundamental human activity which, in the physical world, has been carried out since time immemorial for purposes as wide ranging as adventure, conquest and foraging for food (Lewis, 1994). In electronic information spaces the aims are not wholly dissimilar. For example, in a menu system (Figure 17.1) a user is seeking a theatre to attend this evening: she may initially have no idea what’s available, and is exploring to form a mental model of possibilities before making a decision: a trail (Field and Apperley, 1990) allows her to selectively retreat to a previously visited discrete category label. On the other hand (Figure 17.2 — see also colour plate 14) the information space may be multidimensional and continuous, and the engineering designer may be examining a two-dimensional prosection (Tweedie et al., 1996) associated with two parameters under his control and colour-coded to indicate the success (green) or otherwise (grey-scale) of any design defined by values of X1 and X2.


Internal Model Rapid Serial Visual Presentation Information Space Interaction Designer Colour Plate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Spence

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