Timeline displays are a promising user interface concept for supervising multiple unmanned vehicles. The essentials of a timeline display include a timescale, current time indicator, and lines overlaid with symbology to represent the duration and timing of events such as refueling, transit to destinations, and mission durations. Little research has investigated alternatives to portraying time and events. The present study investigated two ways to portray the passage of time: a moving timeline with a stationary current-time indicator, and a stationary timeline with a moving currenttime indicator. Participants viewed videos of dynamic timelines portraying the passage of time these two ways, and also at two speeds of movement. While watching the videos they answered questions requiring information retrieval and temporal problem solving. Participants answered more quickly and accurately with the moving timeline condition at the faster movement speed, particularly on questions requiring planning decisions.
& Ruff, H.
(2011). Portraying the Passage of Time in a Timeline Interface for Supervisory Control. 16th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 351-356.