Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

VisVIP Readme

What the directory contains:

  • Readme.html -- this file
  • VisVIP.exe -- a self-extracting installation of VisVIP 



VisVIP is a visualization tool that allows the usability engineer to explore a website being evaluated along with one or more user paths through the site. The structure of the site is represented as a sitemap. User paths are represented in the three- dimensional space as colored lines. The space is interactive so that you can zoom in on interesting areas, can compare a particular user's path with the ideal path, can overlay all your users to see where problems seem to occur, etc.

Why and when you will use this tool:

VisVIP is useful if you have conducted your testing using the instrumented version of the TMF site. The logs produced by the WebVIP instrumentation tool contain information about the paths that your users employed when performing their tasks. After sending the raw logs to our email server, as described in the WebVIP/Readme.html, you will receive post-processed files that can be viewed with VisVIP.


1) VISVIP requires Tcl/Tk, either version 8.1 or above, or the modified version 8.0 that comes with Cygwin. Tcl/Tk can be obtained at no cost over the Internet through the "Tcl Developer Xchange" at . If you don't have Tcl/Tk installed, you can still install VisVip, but it will not work until Tcl/Tk is also installed.

2) Interaction files produced by testing subjects using the instrumented version of the website provided on the CD (or a custom-instrumented site prepared using WebVIP).

To install:

  1. Execute the VisVip.exe program. This is typically done by double-clicking the file name or icon in Windows Explorer.
  2. The default location for storing files is "C:/Program Files/VisVip." You may change this location. 

The installation process puts one file in the system folder, "cygwin1.dll," and creates a "VisVip" folder in the "start" menu with items to run or uninstall VisVip. The installation creates a new subkey in the registry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, "Software\NIST\VisVIP\1.0" containing two string values, Browser = "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe," and Site = "tmf."

To run:

VisVip/PC includes some sample data sets so you can try it out right away. By default VisVIP starts off using the Motley Fool sitemap; an expert user path is also provided for each of the tasks.

  1. Select 'Start'
  2. Select 'Programs'
  3. Select 'VisVip' 

At this point you can play with the controls to zoom in and out, to rotate the graph, to superimpose the expert user path on the site, etc. Click on the yellow help usa-buttons in the control menu for detailed instructions on how to operate.

For more information:

CIFter project contact -- cifter [at] (cifter[at]nist[dot]gov)


The VISVIP system is a research product developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology by employees of the Federal Government in the course of their official duties. Pursuant to title 17 Section 105 of the United States Code this software is not subject to copyright protection and is in the public domain.

We would appreciate acknowledgement if the software is used.

VISVIP is an experimental system. As you might imagine, NIST assumes no responsibility whatsoever for its use by other parties, and makes no guarantees, expressed or implied, about its quality, reliability, or any other characteristic. 

<Return to the CIFter Home Page>


Created September 29, 2016, Updated October 19, 2016