Visual Links across Applications



The tasks carried out by modern information workers become in- creasingly complex and time-consuming. They often require to evaluate, interpret, and compare information from different sources presented in multiple application windows. With large, high res- olution displays, multiple application windows can be arranged in a way so that a large amount of information is visible simultane- ously. However, individual application windows’ contents and vi- sual representations are isolated and relations between information items contained in these windows are not explicit. Thus, relating and comparing information across applications has to be executed manually by the user, which is a tedious and error-prone task. In this paper we present visual links connecting related pieces of information across application windows and thereby guiding the user’s attention to relevant information. Applications are coordi- nated by a management application accessible via a light-weight interface. User selections are synchronized across registered appli- cations and visual links are rendered on top of the desktop content by a window manager. Initial user feedback was very positive and indicates that visual links improve task efficiency when analyzing information from multiple sources.


Manuela Waldner, Werner Puff, Alexander Lex, Marc Streit, Dieter Schmalstieg
Visual Links across Applications
Proceedings of the Conference on Graphics Interface (GI '10), 129--136, 2010.
 GI 2010 Best Student Paper Award


    title = {Visual Links across Applications},
    author = {Manuela Waldner and Werner Puff and Alexander Lex and Marc Streit and Dieter Schmalstieg},
    journal = {Proceedings of the Conference on Graphics Interface (GI '10)},
    publisher = {},
    pages = {129--136},
    year = {2010}


This work was supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG (BRIDGE 822716 and 385567) and the Austrian Sci- ence Fond FWF (L427-N15).