Perception of Meta-Information Representation: A Psychophysical Approach

Fortenbery1, N., Jenkins2, M., Bisantz1, A., D’Arcy1, J., Farry2, M., Nagy2, A., Roth4, E., Pfautz2, J., and and Thomas5, G.

Presented at the 56th Annual Meetings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), Boston, MA (October 2012)

Previous research has identified many effective methods to visualize different types of meta-information, or information qualifiers; however, these methods are often incorporated without understanding how the graphical codes are perceived and how the encoded information is interpreted by display users. This results in display designers selecting graphical codes to represent meta-information without empirical evidence to determine the appropriateness of these selections. To help address this lack of guidance, this paper presents a systematic study of how people perceive two graphical codes (saturation and opacity) and relate those codes to different types of meta-information. Results were generated using psychophysical scaling methods, and provide visualization designers with a means to more appropriately design meta-information representations.

1 University at Buffalo

2 Charles River Analytics

3 Wright State University, Inc.

4 Roth Cognitive Engineering

5 Wright Patterson AFB

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