For your eyes only? Evaluating a coordinated and multiple views tool with a map, a parallel coordinated plot and a table using an eye-tracking approach
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science. 2016, 31 (2), 237-252. 10.1080/13658816.2016.1191636
Geographic visualization tools with coordinated and multiple views (CMV) typically provide sets of visualization methods. Such configuration gives users the possibility of investigating data in various visual contexts; however, it can be confusing due to the multiplicity of visual components and interactive functions. We addressed this challenge and conducted an empirical study on how a CMV tool, consisting of a map, a parallel coordinate plot (PCP), and a table, is used to acquire information. We combined a task-based approach with eye-tracking and usability metrics since these methods provide comprehensive insights into users’ behaviour. Our empirical study revealed that the freedom to choose visualization components is appreciated by users. The individuals worked with all the available visualization methods and they often used more than one visualization method when executing tasks. Different views were used in different ways by various individuals, but in a similarly effective way. Even PCP, which is claimed to be problematic, was found to be a handy way of exploring data when accompanied by interactive functions.