Visualizations at First Sight: Do Insights Require Traininig?

TitleVisualizations at First Sight: Do Insights Require Traininig?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsSmuc, M., E. Mayr, T. Lammarsch, A. Bertone, W. Aigner, H. Risku, and S. Miksch
EditorsHolzinger, A.
Conference NameProceedings of 4th Symposium of the Workgroup Human-Computer Interaction and Usability Engineering of the Austrian Computer Society (USAB 2008)
Conference LocationGraz, Austria
ISBN Number978-3-540-89350-9

Understanding novel visualizations can be a challenge even for experienced users. During iterative usability engineering phases in the DisCo project, visualizations of time-oriented data are explored by domain experts and non-experts. The aim of our study is to analyze the generation of knowledge and understanding by means of visualizations without previous user training. Focusing on applicability in various business domains for personnel planning and time scheduling, we tested mockups of visualizations with a method based on user-reported insights. Results show almost identical behavior of domain experts and non-experts when generating insights into the data from scratch. In the course of working with a visualization, an interchange of insights into the visualization and insights into the data was found.


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