Saturday, April 23, 2005

Finding My Way

The last post was too long... and still I forgot one of the things I wanted to say. The tag clouds reminded me of a technology I saw a while ago that never came to anything: the navihedron. The idea is that links are placed at the vertices of a 3D shape. Click on a vertix and the navihedren rotates to put that link in the centre of the screen.

Radiating out from each vertices are links to other, related, topics. As the clicked on topic swings into view, it brings these related topics along with it. The idea is that you should never be more that two or three clicks away from the information you want.

I thought this was an interesting idea, but that it was probably too complex to be of much use. Unfortunately, the man who invented this form of navigation died at a young age. I'm not sure if development stopped when he died, or if other people thought it was too complex too, but I could only find one examle of navihedrons in action. It is on the MARCEL website. Click on one of the circles round the edge and watch it swing onto cente stage. Click on the one in the middle and a new navihedron appears bringing a new set of related terms.

What do you think? Interesting? Too complicated? Too confusing? Just right? Is a tag cloud easier to understand and use?

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