My research is guided by my interest in the intersection where computers meet the physical world. Ever since computers became wide-spread tools, there have been efforts to have interaction take place in the physical world instead of through versatile but indirect input devices. I am interested in exploring the wide space of beyond-desktop interfaces and specifically their application for information visualization.
PhD Thesis: Physical and Tangible Information Visualization
defended March 10, 2014
thesis draft (Jan, 10, 2014)
- Jean-Daniel Fekete (Advisor), Inria
- Pierre Dragicevic (Co-Advisor), Inria
- Michel Beaudouin-Lafon, Université Paris-Sud
- Sheelagh Carpendale, University of Calgary
- Jason Dykes, City University London
- Kasper Hornbæk, University of Copenhagen
Visualizations in the most general sense of external, physical representations of information are older than the invention of writing. Generally, external representations promote external cognition and visual thinking, and humans developed a rich set of skills for crafting and exploring them.
Computers immensely increased the amount of data we can collect and process as well as diversified the ways we can represent it visually. Computer-supported visualization systems, studied in the field of information visualization (infovis), have become powerful and complex, and sophisticated interaction techniques are now necessary to control them. With the widening of technological possibilities beyond classic desktop settings, new opportunities have emerged. Not only display surfaces of arbitrary shapes and sizes can be used to show richer visualizations, but also new input technologies can be used to manipulate them. For example, tangible user interfaces are an emerging input technology that capitalizes on humans’ abilities to manipulate physical objects. However, these technologies have been barely studied in the field of information visualization.
A first problem is a poorly defined terminology. In this dissertation, I define and explore the conceptual space of embodiment for information visualization. For visualizations, embodiment refers to the level of congruence between the visual elements of the visualization and their physical shape. This concept subsumes previously introduced concepts such as tangibility and physicality. For example, tangible computing aims to represent virtual objects through a physical form but the form is not necessarily congruent with the virtual object.
A second problem is the scarcity of convincing applications of tangible user interfaces for infovis purposes. In information visualization, standard computer displays and input devices are still widespread and considered as most effective. Both of these provide however opportunities for embodiment: input devices can be specialized and adapted so that their physical shape reflects their functionality within the system; computer displays can be substituted by transformable shape changing displays or, eventually, by programmable matter which can take any physical shape imaginable. Research on such shape-changing interfaces has so far been technology-driven while the utility of such interfaces for information visualization remained unexploited.
In this thesis, I propose embodiment as a design principle for infovis purposes, I demonstrate and validate the efficiency and usability of both embodied visualization controls and embodied visualization displays through three controlled user experiments. I then present a conceptual interaction model and visual notation system that facilitates the description, comparison and criticism of various types of visualization systems and illustrate it through case studies of currently existing point solutions. Finally, to aid the creation of physical visualizations, I present a software tool that supports users in building their own visualizations. The tool is suitable for users new to both visualization and digital fabrication, and can help to increase users’ awareness of and interest in data in their everyday live. In summary, this thesis contributes to the understanding of the value of emerging physical representations for information visualization.
Previous Projects with RWTH Aachen University
- program committee member for ACM ITS'14
- program committee member for ACM CHI'14 works-in-progress
- program committee member for ACM CHI'13 works-in-progress
Papers & Notes
Saiganesh Swaminathan, Conglei Shi, Yvonne Jansen, Pierre Dragicevic, Lora Oehlberg, and Jean-Daniel Fekete (2014) Supporting the Design and Fabrication of Physical Visualizations. In CHI2014 - Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2014, in press.
Yvonne Jansen, Pierre Dragicevic (2013). An Interaction Model for Visualizations Beyond The Desktop. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE, 2013, 19 (12), pp. 2396 - 2405.
Yvonne Jansen, Pierre Dragicevic, and Jean-Daniel Fekete (2013). Evaluating the Efficiency of Physical Visualizations. Proceedings of the 2013 annual conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI'13). Pages 2593-2602.
Yvonne Jansen, Pierre Dragicevic, and Jean-Daniel Fekete (2012).Tangible remote controllers for wall-size displays. Proceedings of the 2012 annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'12). Pages 2865-2874.
MudPad: tactile feedback and haptic texture overlay for touch surfaces. Yvonne Jansen, Thorsten Karrer, Jan Borchers ITS '10 ACM International Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces, 2010 (best note award)
SLAP widgets: bridging the gap between virtual and physical controls on tabletops. Malte Weiss, Julie Wagner, Yvonne Jansen, Roger Jennings, Ramsin Khoshabeh, James D. Hollan, Jan Borchers CHI '09 Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, 2009
SLAPbook: tangible widgets on multi-touch tables in groupware environments. Malte Weiss, Julie Wagner, Roger Jennings, Yvonne Jansen, Ramsin Khoshabeh, James D. Hollan, Jan Borchers TEI '09 Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction, 2009
REXband: a multi-user interactive exhibit for exploring medieval music. Eric Lee, Marius Wolf, Yvonne Jansen, Jan Borchers NIME '07 Proceedings of the 7th international conference on New interfaces for musical expression, 2007
Demos & Posters
Poster: Yvonne Jansen, Pierre Dragicevic, and Jean-Daniel Fekete (2012) Investigating Physical Visualizations. IEEE VisWeek 2012 Electronic Conference Proceedings, Oct 2012, Seattle, Washington, USA, United States. In press.
Demo: MudPad: localized tactile feedback on touch surfaces. Yvonne Jansen, Thorsten Karrer, Jan Borchers UIST '10 Adjunct proceedings of the 23nd annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology,
Demo: SLAP widgets: bridging the gap between virtual and physical controls on tabletops. Malte Weiss, Roger Jennings, Ramsin Khoshabeh, Jan Borchers, Julie Wagner, Yvonne Jansen, James D. Hollan CHI EA '09 CHI '09 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems, 2009
LRI Équipe Aviz
Bât 650, Université Paris-Sud
91405 Orsay Cedex, France