Reading small scalar data fields: color scales vs. Detail on Demand vs. FatFonts

Constant Manteau, Miguel Nacenta, Michael Mauderer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We empirically investigate the advantages and disadvantages of color- and digit-based methods to represent small scalar fields. We compare two types of color scales (one brightness-based and one that varies in hue, saturation and brightness) with an interactive tooltip that shows the scalar value on demand, and with a symbolic glyph-based approach (FatFonts). Three experiments tested three tasks: reading values, comparing values, and finding extrema. The results provide the first empirical comparisons of color scales with symbol-based techniques. The interactive tooltip enabled higher accuracy and shorter times than the color scales for reading values but showed slow completion times and low accuracy for value comparison and extrema finding tasks. The FatFonts technique showed better speed and accuracy for reading and value comparison, and high accuracy for the extrema finding task at the cost of being the slowest for this task.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 Graphics Interface Conference
Place of PublicationCanada
PublisherCanadian Human-Computer Communications Society
Pages50-58
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780994786821
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventGraphics Interface 2017 - LIster Centre, University of ALberta, Edmonton, Canada
Duration: 16 May 201719 May 2017
http://graphicsinterface.org/conference/2017/

Conference

ConferenceGraphics Interface 2017
Abbreviated titleGI'17
CountryCanada
CityEdmonton
Period16/05/1719/05/17
Internet address

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  • Cite this

    Manteau, C., Nacenta, M., & Mauderer, M. (2017). Reading small scalar data fields: color scales vs. Detail on Demand vs. FatFonts . In Proceedings of the 2017 Graphics Interface Conference (pp. 50-58). Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society. http://graphicsinterface.org/proceedings/gi2017/