Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Department of Computer Science WISE
Presentations, content-driven information visualisation, plug-in presentation architecture, HTML5, zoomable user interfaces, hypermedia, RSL model, knowledge transfer, e-learning, content authoring, audience interaction
In my Master's thesis we did a preliminary investigation around the current state of presentation tools. We came to the conclusion that not much has changed since the birth of digital presentation tools. These tools were born as aids for creating physical media (transparants, photographic slides, ...), but we see that even though these are long gone, we are still subjected to the limitations of these physical media. For example, we are still spatially restricted, we are restricted to linear navigation and interaction with the content is limited to navigation. As part of this thesis an alternative visualisation layer was made in HTML5, which allows us to visualise many types of content via a plug-in architecture. We concluded the thesis with the statement that a major revision of the presentation process is needed to bring presentations to the 21st century, and that there is plenty room for innovation.
Out of this thesis, the MindXpres project was born. Where the previously mentioned thesis identified some issues in the current presentations, the MindXpres project sets out to provide a scientifically sound solution to these problems. Instead of seeing a presentation tool as a visual layout editor, we base ourselves on the underlying information, and go from there. Now, content is often adapted to the limitations of the tools, which has a big impact on the effectivity of the knowledge transfer. By taking a content-driven aproach, it allow us to tackle problems like sharing, ownership, versioning and collaboration, and takes a lot of tedious work out of the user's hands. We base ourselves on recent work in the fields of cogitive psychology, information management and visualisation to provide a solution that both removes existing problems and at the same time contibutes to the effectivity of knowledge transfer.