The reading this weeks talks about the proposed interactive design for a bubble tree. This is one of those instances where a picture makes much more sense than trying to describe something in words.
A bubble tree is basically used when one wants to illustrate hierarchies or subsets of categories. The core of the design here is that once you click on a bubble, the bubble ‘burst’ and reveals what it contains. Each click will take you into a subcategory bubbles. If you click outside the bubble, it closes up going up one step.
This is fairly easy to visualize and intuitive to use as most of us are now familiar with the folder system used in both Mac and PC operating systems. Each folder contains sub-folders and if you click on the back button or up button, you can go back one level of folder.
This visualization method is great for scientific representation where classification is a major part of the understanding process. It can also be used to chart out work flow and responsibilities for a team.