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J. Cugini, J. Scholtz
Visualization and Usability Group - National Institute of Standards and Technology
Project Description:
VISVIP is part of a tool set designed to assist usability engineers (UE) evaluate web-based applications. The purpose of VISVIP is to visualize data generated by the WebVIP tool. WebVIP allows the UE to instrument a website so as to produce a log of activity when an experimental subject uses the site to accomplish some task. The log is essentially a sequence of time-stamped URLs, indicating the user's path through the website.

VISVIP allows the UE to visualize such paths; it automatically lays out a 2D graph of the website. Each node of the graph represents a web page, and edges represent links between pages. Nodes are color-coded by type: blue for HTML, purple for directories, green for images, and so on. Because URLs tend to be long, a briefer nickname is generated for each page. The UE has several options to simplify the graph: nodes of a given type, or those not on or near a userpath, can be suppressed. Also, if a graph is highly interconnected, the UE can specify that the site be pictured as a tree emanating from a selected root node.

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