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Natural Visualizations

By Steve Haroz and Dr. Kwan-Liu Ma

Abstract

This paper demonstrates the prevalence of a shared characteristic between visualizations and images of nature. We have analyzed visualization competitions and user studies of visualizations and found that the more preferred, better performing visualizations exhibit more natural characteristics. Due to our brain being wired to perceive natural images [SO01], testing a visualization for properties similar to those of natural images can help show how well our brain is capable of absorbing the data. In turn, a metric that finds a visualization’s similarity to a natural image may help determine the effectiveness of that visualization. We have found that the results of comparing the sizes and distribution of the objects in a visualization with those of natural standards strongly correlate to one’s preference of that visualization

Topics: Human Computer Interaction
Publisher: Eurographics Association
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:6376

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