Supporting Visual Problem Solving in Spatial Hypertext

Haowei Hsieh, Frank Shipman


This paper describes the VITE system, a spatial hypertext system that supports two-way mapping for projecting structured information to a two-dimensional workspace and updating the structured information based on user interactions in the workspace. VITE uses information visualization techniques to render structured information in the workspace and provides users an environment to interact with digital information in a spatial hypertext setting. The two-way mapping connects the objects in the workspace to the structured information and provides users direct access to the information. The spatial hypertext environment encourages users to engage more directly with the information related to their tasks. An evaluation of VITE was conducted to study how people adapt to two-way mappings and how two-way mappings can help in problem solving tasks. The results show that users could quickly design visual mappings to help their problem-solving tasks and developed more sophisticated strategies for visual problem-solving over time.

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