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View management and Mobile devices

Master-level internship at in|situ|

Advisors: Caroline Appert and Olivier Chapuis


Users' manipulations on mobile devices get closer to users' tasks on desktop computers as they involve large amounts of data (e.g., maps, books, etc.) and multiple applications (multitasking). However the limited size of the display on mobile devices has made the single view model become a standard for managing content. This too simple model forces users to achieve their tasks in a very sequential manner as opposed to the flexible window management model desktop computers offer.

Some techniques for managing multiple views on mobile devices appear on industrial devices (horizontal or vertical lists of opened applications, perspective view of a pile of tabs, icon grids and home button, etc.). In this internship, we plan to provide scientific foundations for the design of such techniques by understanding the nature of the different view management tasks users perform and capturing the relationship between the performance of a technique and the nature of a task. For example, (i) some techniques may be more adapted to a sequential navigation in different views while others can be better for "backtrack&branch" navigation, (ii) some techniques can better scale with the number of manipulated views, etc.

The work to do during this internship consists of:

  • reviewing related work on both desktop window management and mobile view management
  • developing a prototype for testing the different techniques (the list of techniques can either be limited to existing techniques for mobile or be extended to innovative techniques, possibly inspired by techniques for desktop computers)
  • designing an experiment (define typical navigation tasks and an environment to collect data for comparing the different techniques)
  • running this experiment and analyzing collected data

Required skills:

  • Java programming (the intern will be provided with an Android device)
  • Interest in interaction with mobile devices and usability studies.

The internship will take place in the insitu team, under the supervision of Caroline Appert [1] and Olivier Chapuis [2] who both have already studied window and view management as well as interaction with mobile devices.