Report optimization using visual search strategies

Publication, 2015


L. Falschlunger, C. Eisl, H. Losbichler, E. Grabmann - Report optimization using visual search strategies - Proceedings of the 6th international conference on information visualization theory and applications, Berlin, Germany, 2015, pp. 1-9


The success of visualisations is determined by the ability of users to retrieve relevant information in an effective and efficient way. The way in which information is perceived can be analysed by examining visual search strategies of users. Visual search strategies in graphical representations however, are individual and have not been well explored up to now. Recent studies show that eye tracking experiments help in gaining new insights into these strategies. Apart from error rates and task completion times, eye tracking focuses on the way observers of visualisations read and make sense of the presented stimulus. In this way sequential strategies can be analysed, compared and used in order to optimize graphical layouts. In this study we use the approach of Parallel Scan Path visualisation in combination with Levenshtein Distance to determine similarities between search strings when viewing graphical representations in standardized business communication. This study shows a positive correlation between search strategies and task completion time and allows the evaluation of different design layouts. Positive significant effects can be detected when examining experience (with respect to standardized and repetitive reporting) and layout optimization (with respect to graphical representations and page layout). Optimal search strategies can be identified when users are experienced and using an optimized layout.