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End-User Development of Visualizations

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In this article the authors investigated a visualization tool (uVis) for end-user developers, in order to see how end users actually use it. The tool was an early version and the investigation helped the authors to improve it. The investigation showed that users appreciated the simple formula language, the coordinated panels, and the drag-and-drop mechanism. However, the most important thing for them was the immediate response when they changed something, for instance part of a formula. The entire visualization was updated immediately without having to switch from development view to production view.
With uVis, developers construct a visualization from simple visual components such as boxes, curvePoints, and textboxes. All component properties such as Top and BackColor can be complex formulas similar to spreadsheet formulas. The operands in the formula can address relational data in a database, other visual objects, and dialog data provided by the user. A special Rows property can bind to a database query and make the component replicate itself for each row in the query. In this way, traditional as well as novel visualizations can be constructed.
The most serious usability problems were data binding and not noticing errors (errors were shown in an error list, but not in the formula that had the error). There were many other usability problems. Removing them would speed up learning and make the tool more successful.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Imaging Science and Technology
Volume60
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)010408-1–010408-10
Number of pages10
ISSN1062-3701
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2016
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    Research areas

  • data visualization, usability, end-user tool

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