This paper presents an empirical study to determine whether alterations to graphical features (colour and size) of automatically generated LineSets improve task performance. LineSets are used to visualise sets and networks. The increasingly common nature of such data suggests that having effective visualisations is important. Unlike many approaches to set and network visualisation, which often use concave or convex shapes to represent sets alongside graphs, LineSets use lines overlaid on a graph. LineSets have been shown to be advantageous over shape-based approaches. However, the graphical properties of LineSets have not been fully explored. Our results suggest that automatically drawn LineSets can be significantly improved for certain tasks through the considered use of colour alongside size variations applied to their graphical elements. In particular, we show that perceptually distinguishable colours, lines of varying width, and nodes of varying diameter lead to improved task performance in automatically laid-out LineSets.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Behaviour & Information Technology on 26/11/2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0144929X.2019.1690578
- Set visualisation
- graphical properties