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SIMS 247: Information Visualization and Presentation Marti Hearst Oct 10, 2005 Today Another animation example Fluid documents The third dimension The information visualizer and follow-ons Navigating in 3D space The debate: does 3D help? Cognitive abilities and 3D 3D vs 2D Alternative:

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Presentation Transcript
  • Another animation example
    • Fluid documents
  • The third dimension
    • The information visualizer and follow-ons
    • Navigating in 3D space
    • The debate: does 3D help?
      • Cognitive abilities and 3D
      • 3D vs 2D
    • Alternative:
      • 2.5D sequences (Automatic generation of assembly instructions)
fluid documents
Fluid Documents
  • Zellweger, Chang, Mackinlay. Fluid links for informed and incremental hypertext browsing. CHI\'99 Extended Abstracts
  • Better document-reading interface
  • Combines
    • Lightweight animation
    • Focus + context
3d animation
3D + Animation
  • Pioneered by Card and Robertson
    • Had state-of-the-art graphics hardware; wanted to see what happens when pushing the boundaries
    • Motivated by Card & Moran’s theories of cognitive architecture
  • Information Visualizer (PARC)
  • WebBook/Webforager (PARC, 1996)
  • Data Mountain (MS Research, 1998)
  • Task Gallery (MS Research, 2000)
information workspaces
Information Workspaces
  • Objective:
    • Decrease the costs for performing information-intensive tasks, or, alternatively, increase the scope of information that can be utilized for the same cost.
  • Method:
    • Large Workspaces
      • Make the immediate workspace virtually larger
    • Real-Time Interaction
      • Maximize the interaction rates
    • Visual Abstractions
      • Speed assimilation and pattern detection



Information Visualizer



Web Forager


data mountain
Robertson, Czerwinski et al, 1998

Follow-on to Information Visualizer

Organizing bookmarks using pile metaphor


Spatial organization

3D view with 2D interaction

Cartoon animation details

Subtle audio cues


Is this better than 2D?

Data Mountain

Task Gallery

Robertson et al., 2000


3d vs 2d
3D vs. 2D
  • Cockburn & McKenzie ’02
    • Results for prior work with 3D systems are primarily negative for viz of things that are not inherently in 3D, but really results are mixed
    • Compared 2D, 2½D and 3D views of web page thumbnails
    • Did this for both physical and virtual interfaces
    • Compared sparse, medium, and dense displays
3d vs 2d12
3D vs. 2D
  • Cockburn & McKenzie ’02
    • Results:
      • Time taken sig. increased through 2D -> 3D interfaces
      • Subjective assessment sig. decreased 2D -> 3D
      • Performance degraded with denser problems
      • 3D virtual interface produced the slowest times
      • People prefered the physical interfaces
      • People were better at using their spatial memory than they expected to be
      • There was a problem with the physical 2½D display
interacting with 3d spaces
Interacting with 3D spaces
  • Path-drawing for 3D walkthrough, Igarashi et al, UIST ’98
  • Problem: interacting with 3D via 2D screens
  • Solution: be clever about how to convert 2D to 3D based on what the user is likely to intend
the role of cognitive abilities
The Role of Cognitive Abilities
  • Leitheiser & Munro ‘95
    • Summarizes the results of earlier psychological research on spatial aptitiude
    • Also summarizes work on effects of spatial aptitude and UI use
    • Presents a study comparing a GUI with a command line interface, taking spatial abilities into account
the role of cognitive abilities15
The Role of Cognitive Abilities
  • Leitheiser & Munro ’95
  • Hypotheses:
    • Users with high spatial ability would benefit more from the GUI than those with low spatial ability (H1)
    • Users with high verbal ability would perform better on command line interfaces (H2)
  • Tasks:
    • Obtain system time, list files, look up a file update time, open a subdirectory, move a file, copy a file, etc
    • Between subjects GUI (Mac) vs. Command line (DOS)
  • Findings:
    • H1 supported
    • H2 not supported
    • Everyone did better on the GUI
      • Low spatial ability users using the GUI required 90% of the time needed for command line interface
infovis meta analysis
Infovis Meta-Analysis

(Empirical studies of information visualization:

a meta-analysis, Chen & Yu IJHCS 53(5),2000)

  • Goal
    • Find invariant underlying relations suggested collectively by empirical findings from many different studies
  • Procedure
    • Examine the literature of empirical infoviz studies
      • 35 studies between 1991 and 2000
      • 27 focused on information retrieval tasks
      • But due to wide differences in the conduct of the studies and the reporting of statistics, could use only 6 studies
infovis meta analysis17
Infovis Meta-Analysis

(Empirical studies of information visualization:

a meta-analysis, Chen & Yu IJHCS 53(5),2000)

  • Conclusions:
    • IR Infoviz studies not reported in a standard format
    • Individual cognitive differences had the largest effect
      • Especially on accuracy
      • Somewhat on efficiency
    • Holding cognitive abilities constant, users did better with simpler visual-spatial interfaces
    • The combined effect of visualization is not statistically significant
gender differences and 3d
Gender differences and 3D
  • Previous studies often found gender differences in 3D navigation
  • Czerwinski et al. wondered why; saw a hint in one study, did a followup study in detail
  • Idea: change the assumptions
    • Make screen wider
    • Gender performance differences disappear
    • Both improved
sequences of steps vs 3d animation
Sequences of Steps vs 3D + Animation
  • Heiser, Phan, Agarwala, Tversky, Hanrahan ‘04
  • Domain: assembly instructions
  • Identify
    • How people conceive of 3D assemblies
    • How people comprehend visual instructions
  • Validate
    • Build automated instruction design system
    • Evaluate usability of resulting instructions

Slides from Heiser et al.

ensure visibility of parts
Ensure Visibility of Parts
  • Show parts added in each step
  • Show mode and location of attachment
  • Avoid changing viewpoint
  • Use physically stable orientation

Slides from Heiser et al.

illustrate assembly operations
Illustrate Assembly Operations
  • Use action diagrams rather than structural
  • Use arrows and guidelines to indicate attachment

Structural diagrams

Action diagrams

Slides from Heiser et al.

usability study
Usability Study
  • 30 Participants
  • Given 1 of 3 instruction sets: hand-drawn, factory, computer
  • Assemble TV stand using instructions

Slides from Heiser et al.

instructions tested
Instructions Tested



Computer generated

Slides from Heiser et al.


Time to assemble


  • Errors:Hand-drawn 1.6 Factory 0.6 Computer 0.5
  • Users rated task as easiest in computer condition




Hand-drawn Factory Computer

Slides from Heiser et al.

next time
Next Time
  • Martin Wattenberg!
    • SIMS distinguished lecture: 4-5:30pm
    • Our class too
  • Some of Martin’s Projects:
    • Map of the Market
    • Baby names visualizer
    • Music arcs
    • History flow
    • Bioinformatics visualization
    • Conversation visualization