Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reaction: Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Role of Interaction in Information Visualization

This article discusses interaction in relation to information visualizations and gives seven categories of interaction techniques based on user intents. Instead of looking at interaction with a visualization from the prespective of how the data is represented, this article focuses on what the user is trying to do with the interaction. I think this is a good way of beginning to analyze interaction with visualizations, but I think interaction analysis needs a more holistic approach.

One of the user intents that they discuss in the article is "reconfigure." While reading this section, I was struck by the fact that a lot of what they were describing was an intent for the user to get the data they wanted because the given display was difficult to use. For example, out of all the papers we've read, I've never read that a 3-d visualization has an advantage over any other visualizations aside from the fact that it might look "cooler" than some of the other techniques. This was one reason I thought the article could have focused on more than just user intent, but also effectiveness of display type.