Our paper “Design Space for Focus + Context Navigation in Long Web Forms”  was accepted at the EICS 2014 conference. In the paper, we put forth a design space (i.e., a space of possible design options) for how form design can dynamically adapt to the user’s (ever changing) focus of interest in order to improve navigation and understanding.
The `form’ user interface metaphor is employed in many UIs to allow for viewing, editing, and communication of semi-structured data . Given large amounts of data, the corresponding form-based UIs are likely to also grow in size and to require navigation. The problem we are addressing is that common navigation patterns in web form design such as scrolling, tabs, and wizard steps hide contextual form fields outside the viewport or behind other tabs or pages. To provide a finer balance (between either fully showing or fully hiding form elements), we propose to apply the focus+context principle from information visualization to form design. In focus+context form design, the elements of a form are shown in various levels of detail, depending on the user’s focus of interest.
The above figure shows the same fieldset designed in different levels of detail (LODs). In focus+context form design, the levels of detail in which each fieldset is rendered is dynamically computed based on the user’s degree of interest (DOI) and the available display space.
To support usability engineering of focus+context form navigation (as illustrated in the above figure), the paper systematically describes the design space of possible design options. The resulting design space has fostered creativity, and has provided vocabulary for discussing, making, and documenting design decisions.
Future work shall further investigate the usefulness of the design space in real-world design projects and the benefits of employing focus+context form design on desktop and mobile devices.
 Harms, J., Wimmer, C., Kappel, K., and Grechenig, T. (2014). Design space for focus+context navigation in web forms. In Proc. EICS ’14. ACM. PDF, DOI
 Harms, J. (2013). Research goals for evolving the ‘form’ user interface metaphor towards more interactivity. In Holzinger, A., Ziefle, M., Hitz, M., and Debevc, M., editors, Human Factors in Computing and Informatics, volume 7946 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 819–822. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. PDF, DOI.