Design talk about the Graph View

Graph Legend

I’m very interested in User Experience (UX). A tool I like to use is what I call NOA (Number Of Actions) – the number of actions it takes to perform an operation. The more actions it takes, the more friction is created.

For instance, I’d like to be able to quickly change graph filters with complex queries to view the graph from multiple perspectives. Right now, it takes so many actions, so the friction is so high, that I rarely change views.

One possible solution:

Think of the legend of a map. One notable characteristic of the legend is that it’s always visible. Imagine if the legend of a map was functional, that is, if it allowed you to show or hide certain features on the map. These would be 1-action operations.

Something similar could work for the graph view. There could be a customizable legend-like section where you could add the operations you perform most often (maybe with drag-and-drop from the Graph Settings), which would allow you to perform them in 1 action.

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Semi-Transparent Grap-Settings Window

There could be an option to change the opacity of the graph-settings window, to be able to see the graph behind.

Options to change the speed of and pause the timelapse animation

I’d suggested a while an interactive timeline for the timelapse animation:

That would be ideal but quite difficult to implement, I imagine. What shouldn’t be that difficult to implement is the possibility to change the speed of and pause the timeline animation.

Let’s say you want to show the timeline animation in a presentation. You might choose to double or triple the speed (from a few predetermined options) to make it fit in the available time.

Option to set the timelapse animation as a screensaver

I don’t know how feasible this is, but it would be beautiful.

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Will add that it might be quite cool to have Saved Display Presets that you can switch around from on a dropdown menu.

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Functional Groups

It would be beautiful if the groups were functional. That is, if they had additional functionality, like filtering the graph.

Imagine if you could hide or fade the nodes of a certain color, or all nodes except those of a certain color.

The way this could work is by having a Filtering button for each group. The button could open a menu that allows you to perform various operations.

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Option to bring highlighted nodes within the visible area

Let’s say I hover over a node, thus highlighting all nodes directly connected to it. But what if some of the highlighted nodes are off-screen? If I zoom out to see all the highlighted nodes, the node labels might become too small.

Possible solution: There could be an option that reconfigures the graph and brings all off-screen highlighted nodes within the visible area.

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Eliminating Friction

There are two essential aspects to design:

  • Adding new features
  • Improving existing features (Optimization)

Both are important. From the perspective of User Experience (UX), one of the basic ways of improving existing features is by eliminating friction.

As concerns the graph view, certain features are functional, but the experience of using them could be improved.

For instance, the graph-filtering search could be much better.

  • When you search for a tag by typing tag:, the tag list is a mess, especially if you use nested tags, which makes it hard to find the desired tag (friction-point).
  • Unlike the main search field, the search history for the graph is not saved, so you have to go through the process described above every time (friction-point x2).

Ideally, you should be able to quickly switch between multiple graph filtering configurations. Improving the graph filtering experience requires both adding features (eg the option to save/load filter configurations) and removing friction.

The process of improving the graph experience could start with identifying and systematically eliminating friction points.

Ordering graph

Hi, what a wonderful tool.

On my concern, i spent a lot of time trying to find a tool wich can help me to do this work but with a graphic mode. Most of mindmapping are awfull because they only organized with level and we can’t work freely.

The only things wich miss me is the possibility to organized the nodes in the graphique mode . In this version we can do this, but nodes moves constantly. If we can have an option to freeze nodes that would be great.

What do you think about it ???

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Hi. That’s a wonderful idea which others have expressed as well.

I’d previously suggested having multiple view modes because the current random view can also be useful.

Persistent Graph Node Preview

When you hold Ctrl and hover over a graph node, you are shown a little preview window of the corresponding page. It would be beautiful if that window could be made persistent.

How this could work:

When you activate the node preview window option (maybe from the graph settings), a floating, resizable, and minimizable window appears on the graph. The window is initially empty (or displays a set page), but whenever you hover over (or select) a node, the node’s corresponding page is displayed in the preview window.

Went through the thread quickly so might have missed it, but a 3d graph view could be very useful (especially if certain tags can be assigned to certain dimensions)

Option to open different, independent instances of the graph in multiple panes

I’d love to have the option to open the big graph in multiple panes and to be able to filter them independently of one another. This would allow me to see the graph from multiple perspectives at the same time.

My ideal view would be one big pane and two smaller panes on top of one another.

There could also be an option to swap the position of two panes while maintaining their size and positioning.

I was thinking at a minimum right-clicking a node should toggle ‘pinning’ it, so that it can be dragged into position and remain there. The rest of the graph hangs from the pinned nodes, with those closest to a node nearest to it, and those farther away below. Distance from the pinned nodes determines their distance vertically, and distance from each other determines their horizontal spacing.

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One of the reason the graph view can’t offer a better automatic organization out of the box is the lack of semantic linking or typed notes. If a better structure than “this note is linked to that one” could be inferred from the notes front-matter/meta-data/link information then without even adding manual organization (or learning from it), you could get further control as to how you like thing grouped, what kind of notes are of a lower importance and should not be displayed, or maybe what intermediary links can be skipped to resolve the relationship you want to see from the links u have, on any degree you like.

Just letting me hand pin nodes on the graph and remembering the positions won’t make the graph view more useful in my opinion, at this stage the global view is more of a gimmick that gives a nice visual but i never could do anything with it. Even the local view can become too messy to use with a lot of outgoing links, especially if using links as tags just because tags can’t have additional informations.

I love this idea of pinning nodes.

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Something that would be useful to me is a way to ‘untangle’ the graph. It loads in with so many of the link lines overlapping when they aren’t actually related. Some of that is unavoidable due to interlinks, but a lot of them can be separated and pulled clear of each other. If it’s not possible to do that automatically, it would be nice to have an option to turn off forces/keep link lengths constant so I could grab a node and drag the chain where I want it without the connected lines stretching out and other nodes being slow to follow as they recalculate.

Option to group nodes by color

There could be an option to display all nodes of the same color next to one another.

There could be different ways of visualizing them. For instance, there could be an option to visualize them in such a way that they form circles – the relative size of the circles would indicate the number of nodes they contain.

Option to hide/show uncolored nodes

When you color nodes, uncolored nodes (nodes with the default color) often clutter the graph. I’d love to have the option to hide/show uncolored nodes with one action.

Option to have two local graphs on top of one another

I’d love to be able to have two local graph views open at the same time, the primary one, and a smaller secondary one over the primary one. Something like this:

ZSpUD

The two would be independent of one another, such that you could see the same local graph from two different perspectives.

There could be an option to choose the corner where the small one appears.
The small one could be resizable (relative to the chosen corner) and minimizable.

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