Guiding Attention in Complex Visualizations using Flicker

Manuela Waldner
Guiding Attention in Complex Visualizations using Flicker, 17. November 2017, Czech Technical University

Information

Abstract

Drawing the user’s gaze to an important item in an image or a graphical user interface is a common challenge. Usually, some form of highlighting is used, such as a clearly distinct color or a border around the item. Flicker is also a strong visual attractor in the entire visual field, without distorting, suppressing, or adding any scene elements. While it is very salient, it is often perceived as annoying. In this talk, I will present our research on how flicker can be used as attention guidance technique in cluttered visualizations while lowering its negative side-effects. In particular, I will first present results of studies examining a two-stage flicker technique for dynamic visualizations on large displays. Then, I will present we our explorations of high frequency flicker (60 to 72 Hz) to guide the user’s attention in images. At such high frequencies, the critical flicker frequency (CFF) threshold is reached, which makes the flicker appear to fuse into a stable signal. However, the CFF is not uniform across the visual field, but is higher in the peripheral vision at normal lighting conditions. We show that high frequency flicker, using personalized attributes like patch size and luminance, can be easily detected by observers in the peripheral vision, but the signal is hardly visible in the foveal vision when users directly look at the flickering patch. We demonstrate that this property can be used to draw the user’s attention to important image regions using a standard high refresh-rate computer monitor with minimal visible modifications to the image.

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BibTeX

@talk{Waldner_2017_11,
  title =      "Guiding Attention in Complex Visualizations using Flicker",
  author =     "Manuela Waldner",
  year =       "2017",
  abstract =   "Drawing the user’s gaze to an important item in an image
               or a graphical user interface is a common challenge.
               Usually, some form of highlighting is used, such as a
               clearly distinct color or a border around the item. Flicker
               is also a strong visual attractor in the entire visual
               field, without distorting, suppressing, or adding any scene
               elements. While it is very salient, it is often perceived as
               annoying. In this talk, I will present our research on how
               flicker can be used as attention guidance technique in
               cluttered visualizations while lowering its negative
               side-effects. In particular, I will first present results of
               studies examining a two-stage flicker technique for dynamic
               visualizations on large displays. Then, I will present we
               our explorations of high frequency flicker (60 to 72 Hz) to
               guide the user’s attention in images. At such high
               frequencies, the critical flicker frequency (CFF) threshold
               is reached, which makes the flicker appear to fuse into a
               stable signal. However, the CFF is not uniform across the
               visual field, but is higher in the peripheral vision at
               normal lighting conditions. We show that high frequency
               flicker, using personalized attributes like patch size and
               luminance, can be easily detected by observers in the
               peripheral vision, but the signal is hardly visible in the
               foveal vision when users directly look at the flickering
               patch. We demonstrate that this property can be used to draw
               the user’s attention to important image regions using a
               standard high refresh-rate computer monitor with minimal
               visible modifications to the image.",
  month =      nov,
  event =      "S&T Cooperation Austria-Czech Republic",
  location =   "Czech Technical University",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2017/Waldner_2017_11/",
}