Visual scanning as a reference framework for interactive representation design

Abstract : When designing a representation, the designer implicitly formulates a sequence of visual tasks required to understand and use the representation effectively. This paper aims at making the sequence of visual tasks explicit in order to help designers elicit their design choices. In particular, we present a set of concepts to systematically analyse what a user must theoretically do to decipher representations. The analysis consists of a decomposition of the activity of scanning into elementary visualization operations. We show how the analysis applies to various existing representations, and how expected benefits can be expressed in terms of elementary operations. The set of elementary operations form the basis of a shared language for representation designers. The decomposition highlights the challenges encountered by a user when deciphering a representation and helps designers to exhibit possible flaws in their design, justify their choices, and compare designs. We also show that interaction with a representation can be considered as facilitation to perform the elementary operations.
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Stéphane Conversy, Stéphane Chatty, Christophe Hurter. Visual scanning as a reference framework for interactive representation design. Information Visualization, SAGE Publications, 2011, 10 (3), p. 196-211,. ⟨10.1177/1473871611415988⟩. ⟨hal-01021602⟩

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