Section: New Results

Design Considerations for Composite Physical Visualizations

Participants : Mathieu Le Goc [correspondant] , Pierre Dragicevic, Samuel Huron, Jean-Daniel Fekete.

Physical visualization has existed for thousands of years, yet the Information Visualization community is just starting to study it. Many current physical visualizations are monolithic, static, and not interactive. Some of them are made of multiple individual objects that can be rearranged in order to represent a variety of informative configurations. We call them composite physical visualizations. A major benefit of such visualizations is that they support modularity and updatability, but their design space is not well understood.

We show [29] that composite physical visualizations can be classified according to two orthogonal dimensions: i) their level of actuation and ii) their manipulability. Among existing systems, some have a high manipulability but no support for actuation, while others are fully actuated but not manipulable. Only a few systems are combining both qualities and none supports both full manipulability and full actuation. We discuss the tradeoffs between these two dimensions, and identify the opportunities and challenges for future research and design.