Visualizing data on tablets is challenging due to the relatively small screen size and limited user interaction capabilities. Standard data visualization apps provide support for pinch-and-zoom and scrolling operations, but do not provide context for data that is off-screen. When exploring data on tablets, the user must be able to focus on a region of interest and quickly find interesting patterns in the data. We present visualization techniques that facilitate seamless interaction with the region of interest on a tablet using context-providing bar graphs and scatter plots. Through aggregation, fisheye-style, and overview+detail representations, we provide context to the users as they explore a region of interest. We evaluated the efficacy of our techniques with the standard, interactive bar graph and scatter plot applications on a tablet, and found that one of our bargraph visualizations - Fisheye-style Focus+Context visualization (BG2) resulted in the fewest errors, least frustration and took the least amount of time. Similarly, one of our scatter plot visualizations - User Driven Overview+Detail (SP3) - resulted in the fewest errors, least frustration and took the least amount of time. Overall, users preferred the context-providing techniques over traditional bar graphs and scatter plots, that include pinch-and-zoom and fling-based scrolling capabilities.
Peter S. Games; Alark Joshi; Visualization of off-screen data on tablets using context-providing bar graphs and scatter plots. Proc. SPIE 9017, Visualization and Data Analysis 2014, 90170D (December 23, 2013); doi:10.1117/12.2038456.