Research & Evaluation

Spiral Zoom Human Hand 2008 Formative Evaluation

Report date: August, 2008



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General Description: 

This report documents two formative evaluations on an interactive media piece that allows its users to zoom in from a human hand to an atom. This zoom uses a spiral to connote zooming and is a departure from a more conventional zoom in which each successive image is a magnification of a portion of the preceding image.

Major Findings: 

• A large number of visitors (76% in the first iteration and 84% in the second iteration) thought that the images on the spiral showed how the human hand is made of smaller and smaller parts.
• With the first iteration, most (88%) of the visitors saw a relationship between the scale bar on the left and the images on the spiral zoom. The percentage declined with the second iteration but still remained high at 74%. Most of the visitors who did not see a relationship between the scale bar and the spiral in the second iteration said that they simply did not pay any attention to the scale bar.
• At the end of the second evaluation, we found that very few people found anything confusing about the zoom. Almost half of the visitors did not think they found out anything new, but some visitors did say that the zoom helped them realize how small these objects really are.

Type of product(s) studied: 

  • Media

Method(s) of data collection: 

  • interviews


Joyce Ma

Associated product(s): 



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