Visual Representations of Meta-Information

Bisantz1, A., Stone1, R., Pfautz2, J., Fouse2, A., Farry2, M., Roth3, E., Nagy4, A., and Daniels5, G.

Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making (Spring 2009)

We conducted two studies that investigated display characteristics related to color (hue, saturation, brightness, and transparency) and contrast with a background, for displaying information qualifiers (termed meta-information) such as uncertainty, age, and source quality. Level of detail (or granularity) of the meta-information and task demands were also manipulated. Participants were asked to rank and rate colored regions overlaid on different map backgrounds based on the level of meta-information the regions displayed. Results from study 1 indicated that participants could appropriately rank and rate levels of meta-information across saturation, brightness, and transparency conditions, while results from study 1 and study 2 showed that the natural direction of ordering is complex and dependent on the relevance of different information to the task and the contrast of the overlay region with the background.

1 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
2 Charles River Analytics, Cambridge, MA
3 Roth Cognitive Engineering, Brookline MA
4 Wright State University
5 Air Force Research Laboratory

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