Kumu Blog

Tools and practices for tackling complex systems.

Perfecting focus

Kumu's focus feature is a powerful way to zoom in on a portions of your map and cut out distractions.

There are no predefined rules for how focus should work. We're blazing our own trail here and figuring things out as we go. After playing with the old focus behavior on larger maps we realized we weren't quite there yet.

Things were good, but we could do better.

Much better.

Tell us what you think of the new focus behavior! @kumupowered

Read on if you're interested in how we did it.


Gravity is critical to a good force-directed layout. Too much gravity and everything overlaps. Too little and everything drifts off into oblivion.

We recently tweaked the layout to allow gravity to shift based on what's in focus (as well as how it got there) to get the perfect balance. Not only can the strength of gravity be adjusted, but the origin of gravity can be moved as well. This produces great results when focusing on items at the fringe, keeping the desired content within view and preventing gravitational distortions.


All floating elements will now reflow whenever the focus changes to achieve the optimal layout. We found this to be an absolute must when focusing on distant elements.


You'll also notice the map automatically zoom fits now whenever the focus changes. This allows us to easily shift the focus without having to zoom and pan the updated map into place.

Subscribe for updates

Loading comments...