Improving Information Perception of Graphical Displays – an Experimental Study on the Display of Column Graphs
L. Falschlunger, C. Eisl, H. Losbichler, A. Greil - Improving Information Perception of Graphical Displays – an Experimental Study on the Display of Column Graphs - Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference in Central Europe on Computer Graphics, Visualization and Computer Vision 2014, Pilsen, Tschechische Republik, 2014, pp. 19-26
Due to the fact that the quality of decisions is linked to the availability of information and to the ability of the human brain to process this in an effective and efficient way, its selection and representation are of major importance in business communication. Graphs and tables are widely used to transform raw data into a more understandable format, but there are not any empirically tested guidelines that consider the cognition and perception abilities of humans. This paper therefore explores how specific visual designs applied to column graphs influence effectiveness and efficiency by applying the technique of eye-tracking to make an accurate assessment of what the observer is looking at. The tested design elements show significant results and allow the deduction of the following design guidelines for column graphs: do not use a 3D view for depicting two dimensional data, do not use non-zero or broken axes, do show label values, do not use horizontal gridlines or the label axis when showing label values and do align the label values depending on the available space (either horizontally or vertically).