Using end-user visualization environments to mediate conversations: a 'Communicative Dimensions' framework

Christopher D. Hundhausen
2005 Journal of Visual Languages and Computing  
An end user visualization environment aims to empower end users to create graphical representations of phenomena within a scientific domain of interest. Research into end user visualization environments has traditionally focused on developing the human-computer interaction necessary to enable the quick and easy construction of domain-specific visualizations. That traditional focus has left open the question of how such environments might support human-human interaction. Especially in situations
more » ... in which end user visualization environments are enlisted to facilitate learning and to build design consensus, we hypothesize that a key benefit is their ability to mediate conversations about a scientific domain of interest. In what ways might end user visualization environments support human communication, and what design features make them well-suited to do so? Drawing both on a theory of communication, and on empirical studies in which end user environments were enlisted to support human communication, we propose a provisional framework of six 'Communicative Dimensions' of end user visualization environments: programming salience, provisionality, story content, modifiability, controllability, and referencability. To illustrate the value of these dimensions as an analytic and design tool, we use them to map a sample of publicly-available end user visualization environments into the 'Communicative' design space. By characterizing those aspects of end user visualization environments that impact social interaction, our framework provides an important extension to Green and Petre's [1] 'Cognitive Dimensions'.
doi:10.1016/j.jvlc.2004.11.002 fatcat:yk4jv7dicfd6dipal3rfxrpooq