Web Based Interfaces

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Readings

Reading Critiques

Jonathan Albert 12:25:40 11/18/2017

Opinion Space: This paper discusses a system for viewing varying opinions in a spatial layout. It argues for the system's merit over certain other representations of the same data. While I find the system fascinating, I wonder how it could be expanded with a dynamic functionality. The system seems to depend on users feeding it specific survey data, so I wonder how its use could be broader without the restriction of more or less a single entry point. Then again, how could it cope with the tremendous amount of line noise in, for instance, YouTube comment streams? In that case, the system would find it difficult to gauge someone's opinion in the presence of jokes and sarcasm. Without a dynamic information retrieval method, the system only provides a small sampling of opinions; the users of Opinion Space may hardly be indicative of the total intellectual landscape. With this dynamism, however, the complexity could spiral out of control, requiring heavy NL processors, and so on. Nevertheless, if limited to specific outlets, fringe or minority opinions may never appear on the space. ---- Zoetrope: This paper details a program intended to capture historical snapshots of web pages. It explains how each part of the system functions to achieve that goal. I wonder how much history this system attempts to capture. Years of hourly data will likely bog down the system unless it is accompanied with a large network of hardware. The program almost certainly is missing a way to cull the bloat--but without fine-grained data, users are essentially back to browsing the now-only web. Therefore, I wonder what this program can reliably provide when compared to archive.org or similar sites. Further, this program completely ignores JavaScript-heavy or AJAX-dependent sites. It creates a snapshot after everything has loaded, but what happens when a dynamic accordion needs to be expanded? The authors mention that searching a DOM tree was too expensive; if it had to simulate entire JavaScript libraries, it would likely collapse. CDNs might help with deduplication, but, as presented, the program seems to provide very limited utility while requiring a great deal of resources.

Kadie Clancy 13:56:56 11/24/2017

Zoetrope: Interacting with the Ephemeral Web: The World Wide Web is constantly changing and it is nearly impossible to find old content after the underlying page is updated. For example, news sites, social network profiles and weather provide ever-changing information. In this papers, the authors attempt to address the problem of losing this past information by introducing Zoetrope, a system that enables interaction with the historical Web. Zoetrop supports the exploration of past versions of entire pages and the use of “lenses” on any part of a webpage to scan backwards through time that can be filtered and visualized. Zoetrope displays a webpage as a zoomable canvas that allows users to explore past versions of a web page together with the current version of the page. The authors also introduce semantics for dealing with temporal Web data and illustrate a number of operators that can be used for different tasks, which enables other research to further explore new applications. I think the work done in this paper is interesting because not only does Zoetrope provide users with historical data, it also provides meaningful ways to interact with this vast amount of data with filters and visuals. This is vital to allow users to aggregate such a large amount of data in a meaningful way. Opinion Space: A Scalable tool for Browsing Online Comments: In this paper, the authors present Opinion Space, which is a self-organizing online interface incorporating ideas from deliberative polling, dimensionality reduction, and collaborative filtering that allows participants to visualize and navigate through the diversity of comments. This system was created to combat cyberpolarization, which reinforces extreme opinions, as the most common interface consists of a list of comments either sorted by time or binary ratings. Opinion Space applies dimensionality reduction to project opinion data onto a two-dimensional plane thereby effectively placing all participant opinions onto one plane so that a user may view the total range of comments. The authors conducted a user study and the results showed that users were significantly more engaged with the Opinion Space type interface than the others Grid interfaces, and participants perceived the Opinion Space type interface to be significantly more engaging than the others. I think a system of this type is important as it deals with the information overload problem: vast amounts of information are constantly available for consumption, but users aren’t provided an easy way to aggregate or visualize information in a meaningful way. A system of this type is a solution to this problem.

Spencer Gray 15:35:52 11/26/2017

In the first paper, Opinion space: a scalable tool for browsing online comments, the authors created a comment interface called Opinion Space to better organize internet comments. In their results, they found that Opinion Space is equally as diverse as current comment interfaces, but users of Opinion Space were more engaged and had higher respect for the comments they read. Current comment systems can be improved because they suffer from cyberpolarization. Only the best and worst reviews are usually ranked the best. These simple list interfaces can be improved by organizing the comments like Opinion Space does. This paper is significant in the HCI field not just because of its immediate results of Opinion Space. As the internet grows and grows in people's daily life, the way we interact with the internet grows increasingly more peer to peer. Peer to peer websites and apps such as Uber, Airbnb, and Yelp are hugely successful. As such, comments on articles have become increasingly influential in people's opinions. Any research done to improve the interface to comments is thus significant research. Prior to this paper, very little research had been done on the interface for commenting. As mentioned in their future work, I would like to see how easy the system can be to implement on websites. If the system is easy to implement, it is more likley that web designers will include it on their sites. In the second paper, Zoetrope: interacting with the ephemeral web, the authors create an interface to interact with internet pages as a timeline, instead of a snapshot of the most recent version of a page. Zoetrope lets users easily slide a bar to change the timeframe and version of the webpage that they are looking at. I did not find this interface to be very significant in the HCI field. While it is interesting to see past versions of a website, it does not seem very useful. While the authors try to motivate the use of their system in their introduction, their use cases were not compelling. If I were to rewrite this paper today, I would have done some sort of user study to determine how useful users find this interface. While the technology and approach was interesting, the final result does not seem significant.

MuneebAlvi 18:14:17 11/26/2017

Critique of Opinion Space: Summary: This reading shows how an opinion analysis tool called Opinion Space can be used to allow users of certain websites and services to have a better understanding of the diversity of opinions expressed rather than focus on the extreme comments or the most recent comments. I agree with the reading that many users of websites do not read all the comments. Most users typically read the most recent comments or the comments that are deemed popular either by user upvotes or by the website itself (such as YouTube). I think Opinion Space is a great method to see the variety of opinions expressed. It would be great to know where the opinion of many people would be placed in terms of agree or disagree. I think that with many controversial issues, many users tend to only see popular opinions and therefore end up thinking they are either wrong or right instead of seeing how many people actually share their opinion or do not share their opinion. Also, Opinion Space does a nice job of not only showing how agreeable or disagreeable an opinion is, but also what the other opinions are. I think this can allow for much deeper conversations, especially about controversial topics where people think other people are one way or another rather than some medium in between. Critique of Zoetrope: Summary: This reading argues that a web history tool called Zoetrope can be used to efficiently access the histories of various websites using features such as lenses. I really appreciate the goal of the authors. I especially liked the lens which can be used to see the history of a particular section of a website. When I first started reading the paper, I immediately thought of archive.org which has the Wayback Machine to see snapshots of websites. However, as the authors mentioned, the website is clunky and cannot allow efficient navigation. There are a few issues with Zoetrope however. Google has become advanced enough that I have not really had any issues finding what I am looking for even if it is on an outdated web page. For me personally, 8 out of 10 times I am able to find what I was looking for by simply googling it. Also, one of the examples in the reading was about trying to find what the traffic is during a particular time in the day. Google actually has this feature built in today and many sites that feel like users would like to view past histories already try to compensate in some way such as by creating their own searchable archives. I still appreciate Zoetrope but with how advanced search engines have become and the fact that many users can simply use their browsing history to find something they might have forgotten, i feel like the potential impact of Zoetrope has been lessened. However, Zoetrope is helpful in case the article or information the user wants is no longer available on the host server. In this case, Zoetrope would be beneficial as it stores its own copies of the web pages.

Xiaoting Li 10:07:47 11/27/2017

1. Zoetrope: Interacting with the Ephemeral Web: In this paper, the authors present Zoetrope, a system that enables interactions with historical web pages. This system helps to resolve the problem that users can hardly find, analyze, extract or compare historical information using current web pages. The overall architecture of the system is simple, a web crawler for collecting data, a database for data storage and a user interface for presenting data. In addition to helping users get historical web data or presenting web data, the novelty of the system is providing users with semantics for dealing with temporal web data. 2. Opinion Space: A Scalable Tool for Browsing Online Comments: In this paper, the authors present Opinion Space, a scalable tool for browsing online comments. Opinion Space aims to solving existing problem of online comment browsing and hopes to improve scalability and users engagement. The authors give related work from several aspects and point out the existing issues in these aspects. Then the authors introduce the design of Opinion Space. After comparing three interfaces in a user study, the authors found that Opinion Space can help to improve scalability and users engagement.

Tahereh Arabghalizi 11:04:20 11/27/2017

Opinion Space: A Scalable Tool for Browsing Online Comments: In this paper, the authors proposed a scalable way (Opinion Space) to visualize the “opinion landscape” and to operate as a self-organizing system that encourages participants to find comments written by those who hold opinions different from their own. The main idea lies in having control on the variation of diversity you want to view from extremes to minor difference in opinions. The authors highlighted the existing problems in online discussion and commenting forums, most of which use the list view to display the comments, which creates a problem trying to find the ones you may want to read. Then they claimed that participants perceived the Space interface to be significantly more engaging than Grid and List. They also found that participants reported significantly greater agreement with the comments they read using the Space interface, and they had significantly more respect for comments they read using Grid and Space as compared to List. In conclusion, the paper is well-supported in terms of clear hypothesis and related experiments. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Zoetrope: Interacting with the Ephemeral Web: This paper presents Zoetrope, a system for interacting with the ephemeral Web. This system allows people to access and manipulate a historical record of the evolving Web. The authors state that in order to manage and utilize the multi-version Web, Zoetrope implements a number of interactions based in lenses and visualizations that allow people to access and analyze historical information through contextualized selections and extractions. The paper contains all the details of implementation of the Zoetrope including the algorithms and libraries used, the concepts applied to solve problems and the languages but the reason of developing such system is not clearly specified and also no user study has been conducted. In conclusion, this paper clarifies how historical access to the Web could be useful, but the history that the authors are interested in is largely content.

Mingzhi Yu 18:08:28 11/27/2017

Zeotrope: Interacting with the Ephemeral Web: The authors of this paper design an interface that keeps track of the historical web information, such as pages, links, and data, and provides the solution for retrieving all these information. The novelty of this paper lies in the visual interaction of these web information and retrieval process. The authors considered the traditional keyword search on this information is not adequate. They showed the example and tried to convince two major strategies: screen grabbing and web page dumping. By manipulating content streams through these two strategies ( or plugin), they showed us how efficient the indexing could be of a search engine. Opinion Space: A Scalable Tool for browsing Online Comments. In this paper, the authors present us a new online comments browsing system that visualized the opinions and manage the comments listings. It can visualize how similar two comments are and provide the response panel that could give some feedback to one specific comment. The design seems intuitive, and the authors hypothesize a general improvement of the comment system by their design. Not all of the hypothese are supported by statistically significance analysis. I think the user study is pretty thorough and it shows some promising result of the Open Space. Overall, the system is well designed, and the paper is well written by its precise definition of problem and evaluation. However, I am still not very clear about the connection between the motivation and design. For example, in the motivation, the authors claim that the moderators are often "shouted" by the extremists. I don't see how the Open Space approached this problem. Even though it has the hypothesis that opinion space users will be more respectful of others' opinion but where and how this assumption came from confused me. By not showing a response comment panel directly according to their design seems not so convincing to me. For example, their response viewer only has bars that can drag to represent the level of agreement, which apparently does not allows users to input any comments. The comparison between the Open Space and the list-grid system seems not fair if I understand this part of design correctly.

Yuhuan Jiang 23:01:33 11/27/2017

Paper Critiques for 11.28.2017 == Opinion Space: A Scalable Tool for Browsing Online Comments == This paper introduces a system named Opinion Space which can visualize opinions. It defines a metric relationship between users. Such relationship is characterized by similarity of their opinions. Each user is plotted as a point on a two-dimensional plane. Some hypothesis that the authors proposed are: (H1) Opinion Space will be significantly more engaging than the traditional list or grid, and (H2) users will find more useful comments more easily with Opinion Space. However, after conducting the user study, the authors find that H1 does not hold and H2 has statistical significance. Compared with traditional comment lists/threads, Opinion Space encourages users to find and view comments written by those who hold opinions different from their own, instead of only showing a few comments for a user at a time or allowing binary ratings. == Zoetrope: Interacting with the Ephemeral Web == This paper introduces Zoetrope, a system which presents historical webpages in a streaming fashion, and allows users to manipulate with these streams with operators. Zoetrope is not only a browser of history, it is also a visual programming tool which can be used to query the history of the web. The paper begins by claiming that the web is ephemeral, meaning that the contents on the web are changing very frequently. The system, Zoetrope, allows interaction with historical web which might have been lost during the changes of the Web. Zoetrope tool enables the exploration of the past versions of entire webpages. Users can see the past of any range on the webpage. This is possible because of the lenses and filters provided by the system. Lenses allow users to select contents and track them over time. A lens can be created by simply dragging a rectangular area on the webpage. Filters act similarly to the WHERE clause in relational algebra. A filter can specify the a specific time or frequency, amounts, or keywords. Queries are also supported with the lenses and filters. The drawback of this paper is that no user study is conducted on how Zoetrope compares with existing techniques such as The Internet Archive (Wayback Machine). The authors should, for example, measure the time it takes to find a historical data (e.g., gas prices, weather) using the Internet Archive vs. using Zoetrope.

Ahmed Magooda 23:41:40 11/27/2017

Opinion Space: A Scalable Tool for Browsing Online Comments: In this paper the authors aiming to tackle some problems of comments on topics like (huge amounts of comments, dominance of strong comments). The authors introduced a tool "Opinion Space" which is an on-line tool designed to collect and visualize user opinions on topics. This system aims to solve the problems by providing some dimensionality reduction using a machine learning and statistics technique called (PCA). When working around the design space of the opinion representation, authors proposed several parts that the user can interact with. Upon writing an opinion in a comment, it will be presented with five opinion profile propositions that he will be asked to rate. And here comes the rule of PCA, the five dimensions are projected into two dimensions using PCA analysis. The authors then go and discuss the study they made, first they propose three interfaces(List interface, Grid interface and Space interface). They then presented each of the interfaces in random order to 12 study participants in a within-subject study using the Space interface as the experimental condition and the List and Grid interfaces as two control conditions. Then The authors discussed five different hypotheses relating the experiments they did.

Charles Smith 23:55:39 11/27/2017

On: Opinion space The authors of this paper look for a way to intelligently sort comments on online discussion forms. They seek to provide a less polarizing and more customized experience. The authors requiring users to self-rate can lead to a few drawbacks. This is mainly because, people on the internet are not always truthful. A user may lie about their opinions to get there comments read when they otherwise wouldn't have been. The authors of this paper also seem like they developed hypotheses from the conclusions in the paper. They have 5 separate hypotheses from the number of things it seemed like they had prepared to test for. on: Zoetrope This paper proposes a system to easily see historical data from web pages. This is done by using a web crawler in regularly index a page, render it, and make it available to users in an easy to use interface. A quick to see issue is the data requirements to store all this data. At 92kb per crawl, per page, this can add up very quickly. This paper take the ideas of the wayback machine (http://archive.org/web/) and apply it in a regular crawling, and easier to use fashion. The wayback machine suffers from infrequent crawling, and the need to visit a different site.

Krithika Ganesh 0:31:57 11/28/2017

Opinion Space: This paper presents many innovative ideas like from deliberative polling, dimensional reduction, and collaborative filtering that allows participants to visualize and navigate through a diversity of comments. Also, this system takes into range of perspectives and highlights the most insightful comments. The authors also perform a user study and compares opinion space with chronological List interface and found they were more engaged with Opinion space and had significantly higher agreement with and respect for the comments they read. Opinion space very useful as it scales well as Internet users are increasingly inclined to contribute comments to online news articles and blogs. Zoetrope: interacting with the ephemeral web: This paper a system that enables interaction with the historical Web that would otherwise be lost to time. The temporal web is manipulated, queried and analyzed from the context of familiar pages using many novel interactions. This paper describes set of operators for manipulating content streams and associated indexing strategies for handling temporal Web data. This is very useful as web is ephemeral as pages change frequently, and it is nearly impossible to follow a link after the underlying page evolves.

Xingtian Dong 0:37:03 11/28/2017

1. Reading critique for ‘Opinion space: a scalable tool for browsing online comments’ This paper presents a new interface to visually present online comments to users. The new interface get ride of the problems of a one dimensional opinion scale. The author also designed a user study to evaluate the opinion space prototype. After the experiments, the author found some hypotheses are significant according to statistical analysis. So the paper presents an idea of using 2 dimensional opinion space to help analysis comments in a more scalable way. I think this paper is interesting and inspiring. Reading comments is a boring and time consuming job. One dimensional comment list is not a perfect structure for users, it might takes a lot of time to read it. This also inspires us not limited to traditional ways, we should be more creative. 2. Reading critique for ‘Zoetrope: interacting with the ephemeral web’ This paper is very interesting. The author found the problem that the web pages are updating very fast. People will easily lost what they want after an update. So the author programs a prototype of application which can search the history of web pages through visual, structural and textual. Visual lenses allows it to track certain coordinates on webpage. Structural lenses makes it tracking a specific object in DOM of HTML pages and textual lenses provides the tracking of specific text message through the whole page. Actually I think this idea is kind of similar with what we learned about time control in design. But it adapts the idea to webpages. With the help of filter and lenses, it is possible to make the time line of web pages visible to users and make it easy for the users to search something even if the content is removed after updates. This paper inspires us to us exiting ideas to different area of computer science.

Mehrnoosh Raoufi 2:47:18 11/28/2017

Opinion space: a scalable tool for browsing online comments: In this paper, they proposed a new interface for commenting and browsing others' opinion. They came up with a two-dimensional model that is easier to use in comparison to conventional list mode. In addition, the authors argued Space mode is more scalable than list view. There are common problems with the existing comment system. One is that people are usually overwhelmed when there are thousands of comments so that they only read the most recent ones or the most extreme ones. To solve this, they presented Opinion Space, that allows users to browse more diverse comments. They went through evaluation to verify their hypothesis. The idea that users by using space interface find more useful comments rather than list and grid mode was supported in their user study. At last, they clarified that although space format has many advantages over list format, the list is still the most known approach. Their first challenge was to make opinion space interface more easy and intuitive to use. Personally, I think this interface can replace list mode if only if people find it as easy as the existing conventional list interface. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Zoetrope: Interacting with the Ephemeral Web: This paper presented Zoetrope that is a system enables users to explore historical records of web pages in World Wide Web. The idea came from the fact that the internet is ephemeral and everything is changing dynamically. In this situation, what happens if one intends to know something that belongs to back in time? That's why they made Zoetrope, a tool that allows its users to travel in time to see previous contents of a site that one day existed but not now. For instance, a news title of CNN changes every day and by Zoetrope one can access the yesterday title easily. To do this, they provided a crawl to search the internet and a database to store all version of web pages. Zoetrope provides different lenses such as temporal, visual, structural and textural lensed so that user can explore previous versions by different access type. Actually, it is a novel idea but it requires a huge amount of storage available to work well that might make it infeasible.

Amanda Crawford 7:02:21 11/28/2017

Opinion space: a scalable tool for browsing online comments, Siamak Faridani, Ephrat Bitton et al, in Proc of CHI 2010 This paper focuses on online social dynamics by transforming the user's commenting space. Through this, the paper proposes an approach to analyze and categorize subjectively favorable and unfavorable comments more intelligently than the current models of commenting spaces. Personally, I believe that this idea has both a powerful potential to be beneficial and detrimental. In terms of benefits, this space could allow users to learn about topics relating to their personal beliefs and subjects and potentially strengthen their stance on an opinion. This too can be potentially dangerous in a social context, where gradual clustering of opinions that helps one strengthen their argument, in which, this argument may become extreme down the road. I would advise that studies of this nature to think and explore the longer term effects of in regards to social dynamics. Zoetrope: interacting with the ephemeral web, Eytan Adar et al, In Proc of UIST 2008 This paper produces an interesting perspective on archiving the historical content of webpages. Given that data changes on well maintained sites constantly, this study acknowledges this characteristic and tries to bring flexibility in our manipulation of these changes. This web crawler may not be the most flexible in the type of data that it collects, but it does take a step in the direction. Data and content has always been important in both our physical and virtual worlds. Websites are now the most commonly used entities and the content that is displayed can be both powerful and expendable. The history behind some webpages can be observed through the changes that have taken place. It is important that we take a more serious consideration on the lifespan of certain websites.

Ruochen Liu 7:03:53 11/28/2017

These two papers are basically about designing and building Web based interfaces. 1. Opinion Space: A Scalable Tool for Browsing Online Comments: Online communication has always been a commercial hot point since it was invented. There are thousands of websites and chatting rooms This paper, written by researchers from UC Berkeley in 2010, presents a new kind of interface for browsing online comments. In order to solve the “cyberpolarization” problem caused by conventional comment list method, “Opinion Space” is introduced and then evaluated. When using “Opinion Space”, the user activities includes entering opinions, browsing and rating comments, and dimensionality reduction. First, a new user is given five opinion profile propositions and asked to rate them. Then the opinion space map is presented. Users view and rate responses by clicking on points in the map. In the user study, list, grid, and space interfaces are compared. The design of the study and the analysis process worth me learning a lot. I believe that “Opinion Space” is a pioneering but solid step to the evolution of Web based interface. If applied to commercial websites, it will dramatically change the user experience of Web pages. The scalability of it is also an important feature. 2. Zoetrope: Interacting with the Ephemeral Web: This paper presents Zoetrope, a tool for interacting with the extended history of the World Wide Web (Web). It enables interaction between Web users and historical Web such as pages, links, and embedded data. By utilizing several emerging interaction methods, the past of Web pages can be manipulated, searched, and analyzed. These interaction tools, including a variety of lenses, filters, and visualizations, help Zoetrope to provide users with a new way to interact with historical Web data. Basically, the architecture of Zoetrope includes a novel Web crawler that collects Web data, a series of memory that acts as databases, and an interface that helps users to get access of stored information. In the design, drawing a rectangular area on the webpage surface to build temporal lens allows users to select some content and track the information over time. There are three kinds of lenses, visual lenses, structural lenses, and textual lenses. Also, in order to help users focus on specific information of interest, filters based on different conditions can be applied to these lenses. The features of Zoetrope are not limited to break down the time barrier on the Web. By using Zoetrope, developers can easily prototype and test temporal queries through visual query interface. Over all, the design of this kind of Web based interface is inspiring and the development and application of it is just beginning. A series of user study, which are not shown on the paper, may help to polish the design.