Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reaction: The Eyes Have It - A Task by Data Type Taxonomy for Information Visualizations

This article does a great job of organizing the different types of interaction and data types one might encounter when interacting with a visualization. I believe that the Multi-dimensional and Network data types provide designers with higher opportunities to allow interactive manipulation of the data represented. The authors of the article add that the increased interaction requires users to practice before being able to fully comprehend.

The authors also point out that the Tree data type has been re-represented into indented structures. This movement makes sense in terms of representing the data in a compact form, but if it takes users 10-20 minutes to understand the data, perhaps this type of tree is not worth the trouble.

I found the seven tasks described in this article to be very helpful. In "Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Role of Interaction in Information Visualization" the authors list several specific interaction techniques in a somewhat unorganized manner. The authors of this article choose to point out the most significant tasks the user may want to take. The frequency of these tasks provide enough motivation to include their functionality into any InfoViz project.