Section: New Results

Exploring the Effect of Word-Scale Visualizations on Reading Behavior

Participants : Pascal Goffin, Wesley Willett, Anastasia Bezerianos, Petra Isenberg.

Figure 11. Illustration of the study conditions.

We studied how the integration of small visualizations (word-scale visualizations) into a sentence affects reading speed and memorization during a brief reading task. In particular, we were interested in how different placement types—with their inherent text appearance and layout changes—affect readers. We designed a quantitative study in which we gave sentences with or without small visualizations for participants to read (study conditions are shows in Figure 11 ). Then, we invited them to answer questions on the sentences. We found that the information encoded in the visualizations is more prominent and easily remembered than information in the written text, but that different placement options had little to no effect on reading performance, even if participants had different preferences.