usability, design, interaction design, information, web usability, user interface design, usability engineering,user testing, usability inspection, heuristic evaluation, webdesign, UI, GUI, HCI, user-centered design,human-computer interaction, mensch computer interaktion,universität konstanz, usability test, benutzerfreundlichkeit, mensch-maschine-interaktion, mensch-computer-interaktion, human-computer-interaction, usable, website usability, ergonomie, ergonomisch, psychologie, gestalt principles, scenario, information visualization,informationsvisualisierung, User Interface Evaluation, Usability testing, Human Factors, Erogonomic, Ergonomics, User Interfaces, User Interface, Interfaces, informations visualisierung, visual information seeking system, visual search interface, Mensch & Computer 2012Harald Reiterer

ZOIL Framework released as Open Source

We are happy to announce that our ZOIL software framework has finally made its way to as an open source project under the BSD license. It is therefore also available for commercial purposes. Anyone with whom we shared a previous version of our ZOIL framework is advised to have a look at the improved and better documented release on

About ZOIL:

ZOIL (Zoomable Object-Oriented Information Landscape) is a software framework written in C# for the .NET 4.0/WPF platform. ZOIL’s development is part of a research project at the Human-Computer Interaction Group of the University of Konstanz ( .

It makes use of different external frameworks and APIs, e.g. Versant’s db4objects (db4o) object database and the Microsoft Surface SDK, to enable application programmers to easily provide a large zoomable visual workspace in their applications. This visual workspace in form of a zoomable information landscape has following properties that make ZOIL particularly interesting for natural and post-WIMP interaction in multi-user, multi-display and multi-device work environments for tangible and ubiquitous computing:

  • Semantic Zooming – For each object in the information landscape multiple size-dependent representations can be defined. While zooming in, an object can smoothly change its form, content, and nature.
  • Persistent – The information landscape has a data model that can be persisted and shared across devices using a client-server architecture based on Versant’s db4o.
  • Distributed and Real-Time Synchronized – The information landscape’s data model is synchronized in real-time across devices using a a client-server architecture based on Versant’s db4o. This enables multi-user and multi-device scenarios, in which multiple collocated or remote devices and users synchronously collaborate inside a single workspace.

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