Assessing the Usability of an Interactive Information Visualization Method as the First Step of a Sustainable Evaluation

M. Rester, M. Pohl, K. Hinum, S. Miksch, S. Ohmann, C. Popow, S. Banovic:
"Assessing the Usability of an Interactive Information Visualization Method as the First Step of a Sustainable Evaluation";
Vortrag: 1stUsability Symposium, HCI&UE Workgroup, Austrian Computer Society (OCG), Vienna; 08.11.2005; in:"Usability Symposium: Empowering Software Quality: How can Usability Engineering reach these goals?", Austrian Computer Society (OCG), 198 (2005), ISBN: 3-85403-198-x; S. 31 - 43.

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Abstract:


Gravi++ is a visualization method that is designed to support psychotherapists in their work with anorectic girls. During the therapy complex and time dependent data have to be analyzed. Statistical methods cannot be used in this context, and visualizations seem to be a viable alternative. Gravi++ is based on a spring metaphor. It can represent time dependent data easily.
There is still too little systematic and empirically validated knowledge to support the design of such information visualizations. Therefore, extensive evaluation is necessary. The evaluation process is composed of two steps - a usability study and the evaluation of the Gravi++ method as such. The following paper describes the usability study. Methods used were usability inspection / guideline review, heuristic evaluation and focus groups. Heuristic evaluation was a very valuable method for identifying usability problems. Focus groups did not yield very much additional factual knowledge but gave important insights about the subjective importance of usability problems.