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There is a rising trend of data analysis and visualization tasks being performed on a tablet device. Apps with interactive data visualization capabilities are available for a wide variety of domains. We investigate whether users grasp how to effectively interpret and interact with visualizations. We conducted a detailed user evaluation to study the abilities of individuals with respect to analyzing data on a tablet through an interactive visualization app. Based upon the results of the user evaluation, we find that most subjects performed well at understanding and interacting with simple visualizations, specifically tables and line charts. A majority of the subjects struggled with identifying interactive widgets, recognizing interactive widgets with overloaded functionality, and understanding visualizations which do not display data for sorted attributes. Based on our study, we identify guidelines for designers and developers of mobile data visualization apps that include recommendations for effective data representation and interaction.


Copyright 2015 Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

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Presented at SPIE Visualization and Data Analysis Conference, San Francisco February 8-12, 2015. Best Paper Award. Alternate title: Evaluation-guided Metrics for Visualization on Mobile Devices