TY - GEN

T1 - The Impact of Shape on the Perception of Euler Diagrams

AU - Blake, Andrew

AU - Stapleton, Gem

AU - Rodgers, Peter

AU - Cheek, Liz

AU - Howse, John

N1 - The final publication is available at Springer via http://10.1007/978-3-662-44043-8_16

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - Euler diagrams are often used for visualizing data collected into sets. However, there is a significant lack of guidance regarding graphical choices for Euler diagram layout. To address this deficiency, this paper asks the question ‘does the shape of a closed curve affect a user’s comprehension of an Euler diagram?’ By empirical study, we establish that curve shape does indeed impact on understandability. Our analysis of performance data indicates that circles perform best, followed by squares, with ellipses and rectangles jointly performing worst. We conclude that, where possible, circles should be used to draw effective Euler diagrams. Further, the ability to discriminate curves from zones and the symmetry of the curve shapes is argued to be important. We utilize perceptual theory to explain these results. As a consequence of this research, improved diagram layout decisions can be made for Euler diagrams whether they are manually or automatically drawn

AB - Euler diagrams are often used for visualizing data collected into sets. However, there is a significant lack of guidance regarding graphical choices for Euler diagram layout. To address this deficiency, this paper asks the question ‘does the shape of a closed curve affect a user’s comprehension of an Euler diagram?’ By empirical study, we establish that curve shape does indeed impact on understandability. Our analysis of performance data indicates that circles perform best, followed by squares, with ellipses and rectangles jointly performing worst. We conclude that, where possible, circles should be used to draw effective Euler diagrams. Further, the ability to discriminate curves from zones and the symmetry of the curve shapes is argued to be important. We utilize perceptual theory to explain these results. As a consequence of this research, improved diagram layout decisions can be made for Euler diagrams whether they are manually or automatically drawn

U2 - 10.1007/978-3-662-44043-8_16

DO - 10.1007/978-3-662-44043-8_16

M3 - Conference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

VL - 8578

T3 - Lecture Notes in Computer Science

SP - 123

EP - 137

BT - Diagrams 2014

CY - Australia

T2 - Diagrams 2014

Y2 - 1 January 2014

ER -