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Information Visualization: Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP)

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What is Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP)?

RSVP is a presentation technique of displaying information (usually text) dynamically in a limited space, in which each piece of information is displayed at a fixed point on the screen and briefly in a sequential order.
It is based on the idea of presenting information in temporal fashion instead of spatial.

Above is the sample of RSVP add-on for Firefox browse

Benefits of RSVP

  • Requires limited space to display text, which can address the typical design issue in mobile - small screen.
  • Faster reading – Proven to be as fast as reading from a book or on a large screen in several evaluations done.
  • It facilitates visually disabled people to read more comfortably.

Limitations of RSVP

  • Impose an increase in cognitive demand.
  • Memory load can be high for some users - more attention is required.
  • Missing a few chunks of information can cause loss of link to the context of information, especially if backward navigation is not available.

Adaptive RSVP

  • the task load which occurs in RSVP, Adaptive RSVP came into picture, which is based on the assumption that the eye remains fixed on a text chunk as long as it is being processed.
  • Adaptive RSVP tries to mimic the reader’s text processing speed by adjusting the exposure time of each text chunk according to quantitative linguistic features of the text.
  • Short and common words are thus exposed faster than long and rare words.

Practical Usage

  • Web Browsers - Can be used to read specific content in the web site.
  • Document Reader Applications – applications that help in text reading can provide option for RSVP for a selected page, paragraph or any other specific selection.
  • RSS Feed Widgets.

RSVP Design Guidelines

  • An application using RSVP should provide options to turn RSVP reading on/off – it should not be mandatory to read the information in the application through RSVP, because all users might not be comfortable with it.
  • Provide 'setting options' for RSVP
    • Text size,color and font
    • Background color
    • Speed of information appearance
  • Provide easily accessible option to ‘pause’, so that user will not miss any information during pause operation.
  • Provide easily accessible option to ‘go back’ to previous chunk of information.
  • A very common mistake in RSVP implementation is to display incomplete word, avoid doing it.
  • Completion Indicator – Allow user to know how far they have read and how much more is remaining; use a graphical meter to show the same.

--Submitted by - Aadhar14b, 30 June 2009

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