Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reaction: Graphical Perception: Theory, Experimentation, and Application to the Development of Graphical Methods

To emphasize basic components of the theory of graphical perception the authors used the elementary perceptual tasks and surveyed a set of people for given set of graphs. The results from lab might not necessarily reflect real time scenarios but still, the paper tries to lay out, a model of tasks to be followed (perceptual in nature) which act as roadmap while one analyzes a graph design. The outcome, even if not concrete, chalks out perceptual tasks (which among themselves are set of complex convoluted tasks) that are performed while extracting data from graph. These are not independent in nature but are influenced by other factors (like functional dependencies) as well. The research on the proposed theory has resulted in useful outcomes, which when applied to some of the frequently used graphs (bar chart, pie-chart and shading) desire replacements (like dot charts, framed charts, etc.) and are aptly described using examples throughout the paper.

What I learned from this paper is that, a particular order of perceptual task that appears worthy may not be the actually the case, when the theory described in this paper is applied. Also I agree the authors proposal, to discard old practices followed in graph visualization in order to move ahead in field of graphics, which is analogues to trend followed in field of science.