Application of Theories of Indexical Cogniton to a Web-Based Workspace

Brian Fisher and John Dill

The World Wide Web and its browsers have created a large and changing information space that is intended to be accessible to users with a minimal level of technical expertise. Web information is said to exist in a "Webspace" that presumably carries with it some (but perhaps not all) of the characteristics of a physical space. This metaphor of moving through a space contrasts with the prevalent "desktop metaphor" of tools specialized for specific tasks. The less constrained tasks and changing information on the Web calls for a correspondingly flexible information visualization approach.The fluidity of our proposed interface requires us to rely less on visual semantics (e.g. icons) in our design, and more on basic aspects of human cognitive architecture: spatial cognition, visual attention and indexical cognition (FINST) models.

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