Towards a General Relation Browser: A GUI for Information Architects
The paper presents the case of ongoing efforts to develop and test generalizable user interfaces that provide interactive overviews for large-scale Web sites, portals, and other partitions of Web space. The interfaces are called Relation Browsers (RB) because they help people explore the relationships across different attribute sets, thus enabling understanding the scope and extent of the corpus through active exploration of different "slices" defined by different attribute value juxtapositions. The RB concept is illustrated through discussion of six iterations over a five year period that included laboratory usability studies, a field test, and implementations with a variety of data management problems. The current application to design concepts in a digital government setting is discussed, and the concept of the RB as the basis for an interface server is presented.