Visual information foraging in a focus+context visualization
Eye tracking studies of the Hyperbolic Tree browser  suggest that visual search in focus+context displays is highly affected by information scent (i.e., local cues, such as text summaries, used to assess and navigate toward distal information sources). When users detected a strong information scent, they were able to reach their goal faster with the Hyperbolic Tree browser than with a conventional browser. When users detected a weak scent or no scent, users exhibited less efficient search of areas with a high density of visual items. In order to interpret these results we present an integration of the CODE Theory of Visual Attention (CTVA) with information foraging theory. Development of the CTVA-foraging theory could lead to deeper analysis of interaction with visual displays of content, such as the World Wide Web or information visualizations.
Pirolli, P. L. ; Card, S. K. ; Van Der Wege, M. Visual information foraging in a focus+context visualization. Proceedings of ACM Conference on Human Factors and Computing Systems (CHI 2001); 2001 March 31 - April 5; Seattle, WA. NY: ACM; 2001; 506-513.