Number of co-authors:26
Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:Mark Apperley:10Oscar de Bruijn:6Lisa Tweedie:4
Robert Spence's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:Ernest Edmonds:63Daniel A. Keim:42Mark Apperley:40
go to course
Emotional Design: How to make products people will love
91% booked. Starts in 4 days
go to course
UI Design Patterns for Successful Software
83% booked. Starts in 12 days
Marc Hassenzahl explains the fascinating concept of User Experience and Experience Design. Commentaries by Don Norman, Eric Reiss, Mark Blythe, and Whitney Hess
User Experience and Experience Design !
Our Latest Books
The Social Design of Technical Systems: Building technologies for communities. 2nd Edition
by Brian Whitworth and Adnan Ahmad
Gamification at Work: Designing Engaging Business Software
by Janaki Mythily Kumar and Mario Herger
The Social Design of Technical Systems: Building technologies for communities
by Brian Whitworth and Adnan Ahmad
The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.
by Mads Soegaard and Rikke Friis Dam
Has also published under the name of:
Personal Homepage: http://www.ee.ic.ac.uk/r.spence/
Bob Spence is Professor Emeritus of Information Engineering
at Imperial College London.
Bob Spence's research has ranged from engineering design to human-computer
interaction,and often with the manner in which the latter can enhance
the former. Notable contributions, usually in collaboration with colleagues,
include the powerful generalized form of Tellegen's Theorem; algorithms for
improving the manufacturing yield of mass-produced circuits; and, in
the field of Human-computer Interaction, the invention of the first
focus+context technique, the Bifocal Display (aka Fisheye lens). The novel
Attribute and Influence Explorers provide examples of novel information
visualization tools that have wide application, including engineering design.
Interactive computer graphics allows the electronic circuit designer to sketch
the familiar circuit diagram on a computer display. This potential was
pioneered by Bob and his colleagues in the late 1960s and eventually,
in 1985, led to the commercially available MINNIE system developed and
marketed by a company of which Bob was chairman and a founding director.
More recently, Bob's research has focused on the topic of Rapid Serial Visual
Presentation in which a collection of images is presented sequentially and
rapidly to a user who may be searching for a particular image. This activity
is similar to the riffling of a book's pages.
Publications by Robert Spence (bibliography)
Spence, Robert and Apperley, Mark (2013): Bifocal Display. In: Soegaard, Mads and Dam, Rikke Friis (eds.). "The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.". Aarhus, Denmark: The Interaction Design Foundation. Available online at https://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/bifocal_display.html
Bifocal Display in Office (2014)
Bifocal Display (2014)
bifocal display concept video (2014)
Mardell, James, Witkowski, Mark and Spence, Robert (2012): An interface for visual inspection based on image segmentation. In: Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces 2012. pp. 697-700
If a person is lost in the wilderness it is increasingly normal for the area in question to be over-flown by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) whose on-board video camera transmits a view of the terrain below. It is then the task of a human operator to visually inspect that view by means of a visual interface specifically designed to enhance the likelihood of the missing person being located. We investigate a novel approach to the visual inspection of the terrain image: that of presenting small segments of that image for very short periods of time, though commensurate with the speed at which the UAV flies. Participants took part in an investigation in which the challenging task was to identify the presence, in typical terrain images, of human beings. Six representative terrain maps were involved, and the six degrees of segmentation explored were such as to provide individual terrain image viewing times between 3.9 s and 108 ms. We report the result of investigating the proposed segmentation approach to visual inspection in the demanding and realistic context of Wilderness Search and Rescue. Our investigation reveals a clear and distinctive change of visual search strategy as segmentation increases, equating to a shift between well-established notions of serial attentive search and parallel (pre-attentive) recognition.
© All rights reserved Mardell et al. and/or ACM Press
Bruijn, Oscar de and Spence, Robert (2008): A New Framework for Theory-Based Interaction Design Applied to Serendipitous Information Retrieval. In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 15 (1) p. 5. Available online
The activities of opportunistic and involuntary browsing offer the potential for many of a user's latent problems to be resolved serendipitously, with negligible cognitive effort. In this article, we demonstrate how the design of two novel artifacts to support such behavior was based on a set of Design Actions which were derived from a model of browsing behavior in combination with a cognitive model of human visual information processing. We propose the concept of Design Actions as a way of avoiding the need for an interaction designer associated with these and similar artifacts to understand the cognitive theories underlying them.
© All rights reserved Bruijn and Spence and/or ACM Press
Adams, Nicholas, Witkowski, Mark and Spence, Robert (2008): The inspection of very large images by eye-gaze control. In: Levialdi, Stefano (ed.) AVI 2008 - Proceedings of the working conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces May 28-30, 2008, Napoli, Italy. pp. 111-118. Available online
Spence, Robert (2008): A Science of Interaction - A Multidimensional Canvas. In: Bobbitt, Russell, Connell, Jonathan H., Flickner, Myron, Haas, Norman, Hampapur, Arun, Harris, Dick, Kurtz, Charles, Lloyd, Bill, Otto, Charles, Pankanti, Sharath, Park, Unsang and Payne, Jason (eds.) Retail Vision-Based Self-checkout - Exploring Real Time Real Purpose General Vision System 2008. pp. 415-418.
Spence, Robert (2007): Information Visualization: Design for Interaction (2nd Edition). Prentice Hall
Cooper, Katy, Bruijn, Oscar de, Spence, Robert and Witkowski, Mark (2006): A comparison of static and moving presentation modes for image collections. In: Celentano, Augusto (ed.) AVI 2006 - Proceedings of the working conference on Advanced visual interfaces May 23-26, 2006, Venezia, Italy. pp. 381-388. Available online
Merino, Carmen Sanz, Sips, Mike, Keim, Daniel A., Panse, Christian and Spence, Robert (2006): Task-at-hand interface for change detection in stock market data. In: Celentano, Augusto (ed.) AVI 2006 - Proceedings of the working conference on Advanced visual interfaces May 23-26, 2006, Venezia, Italy. pp. 420-427. Available online
Spence, Robert, Witkowski, Mark, Fawcett, Catherine, Craft, Brock and Bruijn, Oscar de (2004): Image presentation in space and time: errors, preferences and eye-gaze activity. In: Costabile, Maria Francesca (ed.) AVI 2004 - Proceedings of the working conference on Advanced visual interfaces May 25-28, 2004, Gallipoli, Italy. pp. 141-149. Available online
Bruijn, Oscar de, Spence, Robert and Chong, Min Yih (2002): RSVP Browser: Web Browsing on Small Screen Devices. In Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 6 (4) pp. 245-252. Available online
Bruijn, Oscar de and Spence, Robert (2001): Serendipity within a Ubiquitous Computing Environment: A Case for Opportunistic Browsing. In: Abowd, Gregory D., Brumitt, Barry and Shafer, Steven A. (eds.) Ubicomp 2001 Ubiquitous Computing - Third International Conference September 30 - October 2, 2001, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. pp. 362-370. Available online
Spence, Robert (2001): Time as a Component of Interaction Design. In: IV 2001 2001. pp. 765-766. Available online
Apperley, Mark, Spence, Robert and Wittenburg, Kent (2001): Selecting One from Many: The Development of a Scalable Visualization Tool. In: HCC 2001 - IEEE CS International Symposium on Human-Centric Computing Languages and Environments September 5-7, 2001, Stresa, Italy. pp. 366-372. Available online
Spence, Robert (2001): Information Visualization. Addison Wesley
This is the first fully integrated book on the emerging area of information visualization, incorporating dynamic examples on an accompanying website to complement the static representations within the book. Its emphasis is on real-world examples and applications of computer-generated/interactive information visualization. Readers will learn how to display information to: pick out key information from large data streams; present ideas clearly and effectively; and increase the usability and efficiency of computer systems. It takes a dynamic approach to the subject using software examples on an associated website. This book is appropriate for readers interested in information visualization, human-computer interaction, business information technology, and computer graphics
© All rights reserved Spence and/or Addison Wesley
Bruijn, Oscar de and Spence, Robert (2000): Rapid Serial Visual Presentation: A space-timed trade-off in information presentation. In: Advanced Visual Interfaces 2000 2000. pp. 189-192.
Spence, Robert (1999): A Framework for Navigation. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 51 (5) pp. 919-945.
A new schematic framework for navigation is presented which is relevant to physical, abstract and social environments. Navigation is defined as the creation and interpretation of an internal (mental) model, and its component activities are browsing, modelling, interpretation and the formulation of browsing strategy. The design of externalizations and interactions to support these activities, and navigation as a whole, is discussed.
© All rights reserved Spence and/or Academic Press
Spence, Robert and Tweedie, Lisa (1998): The Attribute Explorer: Information Synthesis via Exploration. In Interacting with Computers, 11 (2) pp. 137-146.
The Attribute Explorer is a visualization tool in which the graphical and interactive presentation of data supports the human acquisition of insight into that data. The underlying concept employed is that of interactive linked histograms. The advantage of the Attribute Explorer derives from its ability to support both qualitative exploration and quantitative design decisions, as well as a smooth transition between these two activities.
© All rights reserved Spence and Tweedie and/or Elsevier Science
Tweedie, Lisa, Spence, Robert, Dawkes, Huw and Su, Hua (1996): Externalising Abstract Mathematical Models. In: Tauber, Michael J., Bellotti, Victoria, Jeffries, Robin, Mackinlay, Jock D. and Nielsen, Jakob (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 96 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 14-18, 1996, Vancouver, Canada. pp. 406-412. Available online
Abstract mathematical models play an important part in engineering design, economic decision making and other activities. Such models can be externalised in the form of Interactive Visualisation Artifacts (IVAs). These IVAs display the data generated by mathematical models in simple graphs which are interactively linked. Visual examination of these graphs enables users to acquire insight into the complex relations embodied in the model. In the engineering context this insight can be exploited to aid design. The paper describes two IVAs for engineering design: The Influence Explorer and The Prosection Matrix. Formative evaluation studies are briefly discussed.
© All rights reserved Tweedie et al. and/or ACM Press
Dawkes, Huw, Tweedie, Lisa and Spence, Robert (1996): VICKI: the VIsualisation Construction KIt. In: Catarci, Tiziana, Costabile, Maria Francesca, Levialdi, Stefano and Santucci, Giuseppe (eds.) AVI 1996 - Proceedings of the workshop on Advanced visual interfaces May 27-29, 1996, Gubbio, Italy. pp. 257-259. Available online
Colgan, Lynn, Spence, Robert and Rankin, Paul (1995): The Cockpit Metaphor. In Behaviour and Information Technology, 14 (4) pp. 251-263.
Engineering design is increasingly being supported by automatic procedures capable of improving a design but which, nevertheless, require human guidance if they are to be successful. Such guidance requires an effective interface. One such interface, recently implemented within a complex engineering design tool, is based upon the Cockpit Metaphor which is the subject of this paper. The metaphor was invented by domain experts and a psychologist, not in response to a commission but as an innovative statement of a fruitful path which future engineering design tools might follow. This paper describes the context of the Cockpit Metaphor, the requirements influencing its incorporation in the Cockpit interface, the evaluations carried out, and the research issues raised.
© All rights reserved Colgan et al. and/or Taylor and Francis
Leung, Ying K., Spence, Robert and Apperley, Mark (1995): Applying Bifocal Displays to Topological Maps. In International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 7 (1) pp. 79-98.
Presentation techniques for topological networks can be broadly classified as distortion-oriented and nondistortion-oriented. Although there has been a growing interest in applying various distortion-oriented techniques, the application of an earlier example, the bifocal display, has so far been underexploited. This article describes a number of human-computer interface techniques potentially relevant to the presentation and navigation of topological networks associated with transport systems, and describes a preliminary experimental study of a number of techniques for presenting the London Underground map as part of a real-time information system for travelers.
© All rights reserved Leung et al. and/or Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Spence, Robert, Tweedie, Lisa, Dawkes, Huw and Su, Hua (1995): Visualization for functional design. In: Gershon, Nahum D. and Eick, Stephen G. (eds.) InfoVis 1995 - IEEE Symposium On Information Visualization 30-31 October, 1995, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. pp. 4-10. Available online
Colgan, Lynn, Spence, Robert and Rankin, Paul (1993): The Human Guidance of Automated Design. In: Ashlund, Stacey, Mullet, Kevin, Henderson, Austin, Hollnagel, Erik and White, Ted (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 93 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference April 24-29, 1993, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. p. 515. Available online
This 5-minute video describes the potential of automated design ('optimisation') and identifies associated difficulties which can be overcome by an interface allowing the designer to guide the automated design process. Within the context of electronic circuit design the video then shows a system, called CoCo, for the Control and Observation of Circuit Optimisation. Illustrations focus on graphical interfaces used for (a) describing the circuit, (b) describing the required performance and (c) the human guidance of the automated design of that circuit. Jargon has been suppressed so that workers in related fields can see the implications of the idea.
© All rights reserved Colgan et al. and/or ACM Press
Edmondson, William H. and Spence, Robert (1992): Systematic Menu Design. In: Monk, Andrew, Diaper, Dan and Harrison, Michael D. (eds.) Proceedings of the Seventh Conference of the British Computer Society Human Computer Interaction Specialist Group - People and Computers VII August 15-18, 1992, University of York, UK. pp. 209-226.
This paper presents an account of framework-based Systematic Menu Design. The formalisms incorporated in the framework are: Lean Cuisine, User Action Notation and Event Response System -- for the interface -- and two less familiar formalisms for the underlying functional and behavioural structures. Systematic Menu Design requires the designer to use the formalisms of the framework to minimize unconstrained arbitrariness in menu systems. The designer works from the user's requirements towards both the application functionality and the interface, using formal notations as far as possible. The flow of influence is from the user to the interface. The use of SMD to produce a menu is illustrated.
© All rights reserved Edmondson and and/or Cambridge University Press
Spence, Robert and Parr, Maureen (1991): Cognitive Assessment of Alternatives. In Interacting with Computers, 3 (3) pp. 270-282.
To support a wide range of cognitive tasks involving the relative assessment of alternative choices, the authors advocate consideration of the simultaneous presentation of those choices, each choice being represented by a multidimensional icon (a 'portrayal') whose features encode the attribute values of a particular choice. An experiment is reported which focused on the relative merits, for a decision-making task, of textual and graphical (iconic) descriptions of alternative choices. Significant effects of representation and choice population on time taken to reach a solution were found.
© All rights reserved Spence and Parr and/or Elsevier Science
Spence, Robert, Apperley, Mark, Brouwer-Janse, Maddy D., Edmonds, Ernest, Kasik, David J. and Rankin, Paul (1990): Practical Interfaces to Complex Worlds. In: Carrasco, Jane and Whiteside, John (eds.) Proceedings of the ACM CHI 90 Human Factors in Computing Systems Conference 1990, Seattle, Washington,USA. pp. 257-260.
Spence, Robert and Apperley, Mark (1982): Data Base Navigation: An Office Environment for the Professional. In Behaviour and Information Technology, 1 (1) pp. 43-54.
The potential of the computer to assist in the everyday information handling activities of professional people has received little attention. This paper proposes a number of novel facilities to produce, for his purpose, an office environment in which needed item of information can rapidly be sought and identified. It involves a new display technique which overcomes the classical "windowing" problem, and the use of natural dialogues utilizing simple actions such as pointing, gesturing, touching and spoken commands. The simple dialogue makes the scheme well suited to the professional person, who is most likely unwilling to learn complex command languages. Little disturbances to the appearance of the office need be involved.
© All rights reserved Spence and Apperley and/or Taylor and Francis
Apperley, Mark, Tzavaras, I. and Spence, Robert (1982): A Bifocal Display Technique for Data Presentation. In: Eurographics 82 Proceedings 1982, Amsterdam. pp. 27-43
Apperley, Mark and Spence, Robert (1981): A Professional's Interface Using the Bifocal Display. In: Proceedings of the 1981 Office Automation Conference 1981. pp. 313-315
Apperley, Mark and Spence, Robert (1981): Database Navigation in the Office of the Future. In IEE Colloquium on Technological Developments for the Office of the Future, Digest No. 1981/55B,
Apperley, Mark and Spence, Robert (1981). Focus on Information: the Office of the Professional (videotape), Imperial College Television Studio Production No. 1009. Retrieved 9 November 2010 from Imperial College Television Studio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaTIMhCbhFo
Join our community and advance:
Page maintainer: The Editorial Team