Monday, September 19, 2011

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

This is very interesting, comprehensive and systematic article which focuses on categorizing the interaction techniques, which is one of the two main components of visualization. The author thinks that little attention is drawn to area of Interactions compared to its "big brother" representation. The author feels a need to connect user objectives with interaction techniques, which have been researched separately so far.

The author presents seven categories of interactions. The nomenclature used is appealing with each technique precisely named using one-two words. The categories are explained clearly with good examples and images. I found Encode and Filter as the most interesting categories.

The methods section of the article is interesting read which describes how authors focus shifted from types of visualization to intent of user while categorizing the interaction techniques. The last part of the article truly contributes to the completeness of the paper. The author gives examples of incompleteness and intersections of interaction categories discussed above. He also explains robustness and usefulness of user-intent-centric categorization. The articles excellent read and attempts to direct visualization designers to think from the users' perspective and intentions while designing visualization.