Exploring Visual Prominence of Multi-Channel Highlighting in Visualizations

Manuela Waldner, Alexey Karimov, Meister Eduard Gröller
Exploring Visual Prominence of Multi-Channel Highlighting in Visualizations
In Spring Conference on Computer Graphics 2017. May 2017.
[paper]

Information

Abstract

Visualizations make rich use of multiple visual channels so that there are few resources left to make selected focus elements visually distinct from their surrounding context. A large variety of highlighting techniques for visualizations has been presented in the past, but there has been little systematic evaluation of the design space of highlighting. We explore highlighting from the perspective of visual marks and channels – the basic building blocks of visualizations that are directly controlled by visualization designers. We present the results from two experiments, exploring the visual prominence of highlighted marks in scatterplots: First, using luminance as a single highlight channel, we found that visual prominence is mainly determined by the luminance difference between the focus mark and the brightest context mark. The brightness differences between context marks and the overall brightness level have negligible influence. Second, multi-channel highlighting using luminance and blur leads to a good trade-off between highlight effectiveness and aesthetics. From the results, we derive a simple highlight model to balance highlighting across multiple visual channels and focus and context marks, respectively.

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Additional files

supplemental material: Details about experiment design and results. supplemental material: Details about experiment design and results.

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BibTeX

@inproceedings{waldner-2017-vph,
  title =      "Exploring Visual Prominence of Multi-Channel Highlighting in
               Visualizations",
  author =     "Manuela Waldner and Alexey Karimov and Meister Eduard
               Gr{"o}ller",
  year =       "2017",
  abstract =   "Visualizations make rich use of multiple visual channels so
               that there are few resources left to make selected focus
               elements visually distinct from their surrounding context. A
               large variety of highlighting techniques for visualizations
               has been presented in the past, but there has been little
               systematic evaluation of the design space of highlighting.
               We explore highlighting from the perspective of visual marks
               and channels – the basic building blocks of visualizations
               that are directly controlled by visualization designers. We
               present the results from two experiments, exploring the
               visual prominence of highlighted marks in scatterplots:
               First, using luminance as a single highlight channel, we
               found that visual prominence is mainly determined by the
               luminance difference between the focus mark and the
               brightest context mark. The brightness differences between
               context marks and the overall brightness level have
               negligible influence. Second, multi-channel highlighting
               using luminance and blur leads to a good trade-off between
               highlight effectiveness and aesthetics. From the results, we
               derive a simple highlight model to balance highlighting
               across multiple visual channels and focus and context marks,
               respectively.",
  month =      may,
  booktitle =  "Spring Conference on Computer Graphics 2017",
  keywords =   "information visualization, highlighting, focus+context,
               visual prominence",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2017/waldner-2017-vph/",
}