Comparing Bar Chart Authoring with Microsoft Excel and Tangible Tiles

Abstract : Providing tools that make visualization authoring accessible to visualization non-experts is a major research challenge. Currently the most common approach to generating a visualization is to use software that quickly and automatically produces visualizations based on templates. However, it has recently been suggested that constructing a visualization with tangible tiles may be a more accessible method, especially for people without visualization expertise. There is still much to be learned about the differences between these two visualization authoring practices. To better understand how people author visualizations in these two conditions, we ran a qualitative study comparing the use of software to the use of tangible tiles, for the creation of bar charts. Close observation of authoring activities showed how each of the following varied according to the tool used: 1) sequences of action; 2) distribution of time spent on different aspects of the InfoVis pipeline; 3) pipeline task separation; and 4) freedom to manipulate visual variables. From these observations, we discuss the implications of the variations in activity sequences, noting tool design considerations and pointing to future research questions.
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Tiffany Wun, Jennifer Payne, Samuel Huron, Sheelagh Carpendale. Comparing Bar Chart Authoring with Microsoft Excel and Tangible Tiles. Computer Graphics Forum, Wiley, 2016, Computer Graphics Forum, 35 (3), pp.111 - 120. ⟨10.1111/cgf.12887⟩. ⟨hal-01400906⟩

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