Coding with Motion: Perceptually based Visualization Techniques

Lyn Bartram, Colligo Networks and Simon Fraser University

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University April 26, 2002

Visualizing information in user interfaces to complex, large-scale systems is difficult due to the enormous amount of inter-related data distributed across multiple views. While graphical representation techniques can reduce some of the cognitive overhead associated with comprehension, current interfaces suffer from the over-use of such representation techniques and exceed human perceptual capacity to efficiently interpret them. Motion holds promise as a perceptually rich and efficient display dimension but little is known about its attributes for information display. We carried out a series of experiments that investigated how perceptual properties of motion might be useful in coding information-rich displays. Our results indicated that motion cues are often superior to the traditional static codes such as colour and shape, but that they introduce new issues of attentional pull and erroneous associations that require careful design. In this talk, I will describe our findings and discuss how they relate to user interface and representation design in a variety of environments.

Lyn Bartram is Principal Research Scientist at Colligo Networks and a founding member of the CoLab project at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests centre around how humans interpret, manipulate and navigate complex information systems, and include information visualization, user interfaces in ubiquitous and heterogeneous computing environments, and collaboration. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from Simon Fraser University.


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