This study evaluates the use of fisheye view to help search for photos in the thumbnail preview on mobile phones with 2 inch diagonal and 3 inch diagonal screens. The factors varied were the number of thumbnails on a screen (array size) and the delay time between selecting the original thumbnail preview and converting it to a fisheye view. On a 2 inch diagonal screen, both user preference and search performance were better on a 3 × 3 array and 4 × 4 array than on a 5 × 5 array. On a 3 inch diagonal screen, 4 × 3 and 5 × 4 arrays were preferred over a 6 × 5 array, but search performance was not statistically different among the arrays. The fisheye view increased search accuracy and speed in 4 × 4 and 5 × 5 arrays on the 2 inch screen, but not in a 3 × 3 array on a 2 inch screen or in any array on a 3 inch screen. Delay time did not affect performance or preference on a 2 inch screen. It is recommended that 16 (a 4 × 4 array) or fewer images should be displayed on a 2 inch screen, and 20 (a 5 × 4 array) or fewer on a 3 inch screen. The delay time should be 0.6 s-1.0 s when using a 4 × 4 array on a 2 inch screen. These results can also be applied to other mobile personal devices with small screens such as digital cameras and PDAs. Relevance to industry: The results suggest an effective way of presenting multiple images on a small screen. Also, evaluation method used in this study can be applied in other small display devices as well. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
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