A Pair of Pie Chart Papers

How do we read pie charts? Do they differ from the even more reviled donut charts? What about common pie chart designs like exploded pies? In two papers to be presented at EuroVis next week, Drew Skau and I show that the common wisdom about how we read these charts (by angle) is almost certainly wrong, and that things are much more complicated than we thought. Continue reading A Pair of Pie Chart Papers

Paper: Presentation-Oriented Visualization Techniques

Presentation is often considered a part of visualization, but what does that mean for the kinds of techniques we use? Are they the same as used for analysis? What criteria should we use to pick them? In a new paper, I discuss a class of techniques I call presentation-only.

Continue reading Paper: Presentation-Oriented Visualization Techniques

Paper: The Connected Scatterplot for Presenting Paired Time Series

I’m very happy to finally be able to announce our paper on the connected scatterplot technique. It describes the technique, provides some historical perspective, and most of all looks into how easy to understand and engaging the technique actually is. Continue reading Paper: The Connected Scatterplot for Presenting Paired Time Series

Paper: An Evaluation of the Impact of Visual Embellishments in Bar Charts

Information graphics often use variations and embellishments of standard charts that may distort the way people read the data. But how bad are these distortions really? In a paper to be presented at EuroVis this week, Drew Skau, Lane Harrison, and I tested their effects in an experiment. Continue reading Paper: An Evaluation of the Impact of Visual Embellishments in Bar Charts

Paper: ISOTYPE Visualization – Working Memory, Performance, and Engagement with Pictographs

Unit charts are not common in visualization, and they are often considered a bad idea. The same is true for using shapes other than rectangles. Neither is based on much actual research, however. In a new paper, we look at the specific example of ISOTYPE-style charts – and find them to be quite effective.

Continue reading Paper: ISOTYPE Visualization – Working Memory, Performance, and Engagement with Pictographs

Paper: Storytelling, The Next Step for Visualization

Visualization is often considered to consist of three phases: exploration, analysis, and presentation. While the former two topics are covered well in the literature, there has been very little work specifically on presentation. In an upcoming paper, Jock Mackinlay and I argue that presentation, and in particular storytelling and communication of data, are the logical next step for the field, and provide some research directions. Continue reading Paper: Storytelling, The Next Step for Visualization

Paper: Conceptualizing Visual Uncertainty in Parallel Coordinates

Visualization is largely defined as the transformation of data into images. Visualization tools don’t have a way of assessing their output, though: were there enough pixels to represent all the data? Are there too many overlapping lines? In a paper to be presented at EuroVis next week, Aritra Dasgupta, Min Chen, and I propose a taxonomy of the different sources of uncertainty when working with parallel coordinates. Continue reading Paper: Conceptualizing Visual Uncertainty in Parallel Coordinates

Paper: Privacy-Preserving Visualization

The point of visualization is usually to reveal as much of the structure of a dataset as possible. But what if the data is sensitive or proprietary, and the person doing the analysis is not supposed to be able to know everything about it? In a paper to be presented next week at InfoVis, my Ph.D. student Aritra Dasgupta and I describe the issues involved in privacy-preserving visualization, and propose a variation of parallel coordinates that controls the amount of information shown to the user. Continue reading Paper: Privacy-Preserving Visualization

Laws of Attraction: From Perceived Forces to Conceptual Similarity

Can gravity have an influence on how the data in a chart is perceived? How do different kinds of connections between circles change our perception of the distance between them? And what does that mean for how strongly we perceive them to be connected? We conducted some user studies to find out. Continue reading Laws of Attraction: From Perceived Forces to Conceptual Similarity

Pargnostics: Screen-Space Metrics for Parallel Coordinates

Parallel coordinates are a very popular visualization technique for multi-dimensional numerical data. In this paper, we propose a set of metrics to better understand the types of visual structures users commonly look for using this technique. Based on the metrics, we can optimize the display to make it more readable, and allow the user to select dimensions based on their visual structures, rather than their existing ideas about the data. Continue reading Pargnostics: Screen-Space Metrics for Parallel Coordinates