Silvia Miksch talking about time oriented visual analytics

It seems this term we picked a good slot for the lecture. On Thursday we had Prof. Silvia Miksch from Vienna University of Technology visiting our institute. We took this chance for another guest lecture in my advanced HCI class. Silvia presented a talk with the title “A Matter of Time: Interactive Visual Analytics of Time-Oriented Data and Information”. She first introduced the notion of interactive visual analytics and then systematically showed how time oriented data can be visually presented.

I really liked how Silvia motivated visual analytics and could not resist to adapt it with a Christmas theme. The picture shows three representations (1) numbers, always 3 grouped together, (2) a plot of the numbers where the first is the label and the second and the third are coordinates, and (3) a line connecting the labels in order. Her example was much nicer, but I missed to take a photo. And it is obvious that you do not put it on the same slide… Nevertheless I think even this simple Christmas tree example shows the power of visual analytics. This will go in my slide set for presentations in schools ;-)

If you are more interested in the details of the visualization of time oriented data, please have a look at the following book: Visallization of Time-Oriented Data, by Wolfgang Aigner, Silvia Miksch, Heidrun Schumann, and Christian Tominski. Springer, 2011. http://www.timeviz.net [2]. After the talk there was an interested discussion about the relationship and fundamental difference between time and space. I think this is worthwhile further discussion.

Another direction to follow up is tangible (visual) analytics. It would be interesting to assess the contributions to understanding of further modalities when interactively exploring data, e.g. haptics and sound. Some years back Martin Schrittenloher (one of my students in Munich) visited Morten Fjeld for his project thesis and experimented with force feedback sliders [1], … perhaps we should have this as a project topic again! An approach would be to look specifically at the understanding of data when force-feedback is presented on certain dimensions.

References
[1] Jenaro, J., Shahrokni, A., Schrittenloher, and M., Fjeld, M. 2007. One-Dimensional Force Feedback Slider: Digital platform. In Proc. Workshop at the IEEE Virtual Reality 2007 Conference: Mixed Reality User Interfaces: Specification, Authoring, Adaptation (MRUI07), 47-51
[2] Wolfgang Aigner, Silvia Miksch, Heidrun Schumann, and Christian Tominski. Visallization of Time-Oriented Data. Springer, 2011. http://www.timeviz.net

Silvia Miksch talking about time oriented visual analytics

It seems this term we picked a good slot for the lecture. On Thursday we had Prof. Silvia Miksch from Vienna University of Technology visiting our institute. We took this chance for another guest lecture in my advanced HCI class. Silvia presented a talk with the title “A Matter of Time: Interactive Visual Analytics of Time-Oriented Data and Information”. She first introduced the notion of interactive visual analytics and then systematically showed how time oriented data can be visually presented.

I really liked how Silvia motivated visual analytics and could not resist to adapt it with a Christmas theme. The picture shows three representations (1) numbers, always 3 grouped together, (2) a plot of the numbers where the first is the label and the second and the third are coordinates, and (3) a line connecting the labels in order. Her example was much nicer, but I missed to take a photo. And it is obvious that you do not put it on the same slide… Nevertheless I think even this simple Christmas tree example shows the power of visual analytics. This will go in my slide set for presentations in schools ;-)

If you are more interested in the details of the visualization of time oriented data, please have a look at the following book: Visallization of Time-Oriented Data, by Wolfgang Aigner, Silvia Miksch, Heidrun Schumann, and Christian Tominski. Springer, 2011. http://www.timeviz.net [2]. After the talk there was an interested discussion about the relationship and fundamental difference between time and space. I think this is worthwhile further discussion.

Another direction to follow up is tangible (visual) analytics. It would be interesting to assess the contributions to understanding of further modalities when interactively exploring data, e.g. haptics and sound. Some years back Martin Schrittenloher (one of my students in Munich) visited Morten Fjeld for his project thesis and experimented with force feedback sliders [1], … perhaps we should have this as a project topic again! An approach would be to look specifically at the understanding of data when force-feedback is presented on certain dimensions.

References
[1] Jenaro, J., Shahrokni, A., Schrittenloher, and M., Fjeld, M. 2007. One-Dimensional Force Feedback Slider: Digital platform. In Proc. Workshop at the IEEE Virtual Reality 2007 Conference: Mixed Reality User Interfaces: Specification, Authoring, Adaptation (MRUI07), 47-51
[2] Wolfgang Aigner, Silvia Miksch, Heidrun Schumann, and Christian Tominski. Visallization of Time-Oriented Data. Springer, 2011. http://www.timeviz.net

TEI growing up, Dinner with Hiroshi Ishii and Don Norman

This is now the 5th TEI conference and it has about 300 people attending. It is still a very young community, with many students attending, but also the “big names” are at the conference. When Brygg and I started with a small conference in 2007 (in Baton Rouge) and 2008 (in Bonn) we considered there is a need for tangible and embedded interaction work to find a venue but we did not expect that the community was growing so rapidly. Looking at the presentations and contributions show at this year’s conference it is clear that the conference is growing up – without losing its exciting mix of contributions.

It is great to talk to Don Norman and Hiroshi Ishii over dinner and seeing them engaging with this young community. They both have made major contributions to this community and have inspired my personal research some 10 years back. If you have not done so I recommend to read some of their early contributions, such as Hiroshi’s CHI1997 paper [1,2] and Don’s invisible computing book [3,4]. Both have published and publish many interesting articles and books which are central to the HCI literature, check out their web pages: Hiroshi Ishii and Don Norman.

[1] Ishii, H. and Ullmer, B., “Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms,” Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’97), ACM, Atlanta, March 1997, pp. 234-241.

[2] Fitzmaurice, G., Ishii, H., Buxton, W., “Bricks: Laying the Foundations for Graspable User Interfaces,” Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’95), ACM, Denver, May 1995, pp. 442-449.

[3] Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer. 1998, Cambridge MA, MIT Press

[4] Donald Norman, The design of Everyday Objects, 2002 Basic Books (Perseus)

>TEI growing up, Dinner with Hiroshi Ishii and Don Norman

>This is now the 5th TEI conference and it has about 300 people attending. It is still a very young community, with many students attending, but also the “big names” are at the conference. When Brygg and I started with a small conference in 2007 (in Baton Rouge) and 2008 (in Bonn) we considered there is a need for tangible and embedded interaction work to find a venue but we did not expect that the community was growing so rapidly. Looking at the presentations and contributions show at this year’s conference it is clear that the conference is growing up – without losing its exciting mix of contributions.

It is great to talk to Don Norman and Hiroshi Ishii over dinner and seeing them engaging with this young community. They both have made major contributions to this community and have inspired my personal research some 10 years back. If you have not done so I recommend to read some of their early contributions, such as Hiroshi’s CHI1997 paper [1,2] and Don’s invisible computing book [3,4]. Both have published and publish many interesting articles and books which are central to the HCI literature, check out their web pages: Hiroshi Ishii and Don Norman.

[1] Ishii, H. and Ullmer, B., “Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms,” Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’97), ACM, Atlanta, March 1997, pp. 234-241.

[2] Fitzmaurice, G., Ishii, H., Buxton, W., “Bricks: Laying the Foundations for Graspable User Interfaces,” Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’95), ACM, Denver, May 1995, pp. 442-449.

[3] Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer. 1998, Cambridge MA, MIT Press

[4] Donald Norman, The design of Everyday Objects, 2002 Basic Books (Perseus)

TEI growing up, Dinner with Hiroshi Ishii and Don Norman

This is now the 5th TEI conference and it has about 300 people attending. It is still a very young community, with many students attending, but also the “big names” are at the conference. When Brygg and I started with a small conference in 2007 (in Baton Rouge) and 2008 (in Bonn) we considered there is a need for tangible and embedded interaction work to find a venue but we did not expect that the community was growing so rapidly. Looking at the presentations and contributions show at this year’s conference it is clear that the conference is growing up – without losing its exciting mix of contributions.

It is great to talk to Don Norman and Hiroshi Ishii over dinner and seeing them engaging with this young community. They both have made major contributions to this community and have inspired my personal research some 10 years back. If you have not done so I recommend to read some of their early contributions, such as Hiroshi’s CHI1997 paper [1,2] and Don’s invisible computing book [3,4]. Both have published and publish many interesting articles and books which are central to the HCI literature, check out their web pages: Hiroshi Ishii and Don Norman.

[1] Ishii, H. and Ullmer, B., “Tangible Bits: Towards Seamless Interfaces between People, Bits and Atoms,” Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’97), ACM, Atlanta, March 1997, pp. 234-241.

[2] Fitzmaurice, G., Ishii, H., Buxton, W., “Bricks: Laying the Foundations for Graspable User Interfaces,” Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’95), ACM, Denver, May 1995, pp. 442-449.

[3] Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer. 1998, Cambridge MA, MIT Press

[4] Donald Norman, The design of Everyday Objects, 2002 Basic Books (Perseus)

Do tangible user interface make sense? Yes they are a great design tool.

The question “Do tangible user interface make sense?” is a question that probably everyone who seriously works in this field has asked themselves once in a while.

Seeing the iPhone and iPod app of the people doing the reactable made me think about this question again! What is really – in the use case of the reactbale the value of the physical over the touch screen? Or is it just sentimental and old school to believe in the physical? Not sure … needs probably some more thinking and research ;-)

One other points which this example underlines is that tangible interaction is a great design tool (still in the process of writing a paper about this – but here the basic idea for discussion). And I strongly believe that this is a great value for user interface design in general. I suggest the following approach:

  1. Analyze your task
  2. Find data elements that can be made tangible
  3. Find operators/manipulators on the data elements that can be made tangible
  4. Create a tangible user interface to realize all the interaction required
  5. Port it to a touch screen or conventional user interface

The steps 1-4 will ensure simplicity and in step 5 you may lose some of the “ah” and “wow” but it is very likely that you have created a usable and simple interface!

>Do tangible user interface make sense? Yes they are a great design tool.

>The question “Do tangible user interface make sense?” is a question that probably everyone who seriously works in this field has asked themselves once in a while.

Seeing the iPhone and iPod app of the people doing the reactable made me think about this question again! What is really – in the use case of the reactbale the value of the physical over the touch screen? Or is it just sentimental and old school to believe in the physical? Not sure … needs probably some more thinking and research ;-)

One other points which this example underlines is that tangible interaction is a great design tool (still in the process of writing a paper about this – but here the basic idea for discussion). And I strongly believe that this is a great value for user interface design in general. I suggest the following approach:

  1. Analyze your task
  2. Find data elements that can be made tangible
  3. Find operators/manipulators on the data elements that can be made tangible
  4. Create a tangible user interface to realize all the interaction required
  5. Port it to a touch screen or conventional user interface

The steps 1-4 will ensure simplicity and in step 5 you may lose some of the “ah” and “wow” but it is very likely that you have created a usable and simple interface!

Do tangible user interface make sense? Yes they are a great design tool.

The question “Do tangible user interface make sense?” is a question that probably everyone who seriously works in this field has asked themselves once in a while.

Seeing the iPhone and iPod app of the people doing the reactable made me think about this question again! What is really – in the use case of the reactbale the value of the physical over the touch screen? Or is it just sentimental and old school to believe in the physical? Not sure … needs probably some more thinking and research ;-)

One other points which this example underlines is that tangible interaction is a great design tool (still in the process of writing a paper about this – but here the basic idea for discussion). And I strongly believe that this is a great value for user interface design in general. I suggest the following approach:

  1. Analyze your task
  2. Find data elements that can be made tangible
  3. Find operators/manipulators on the data elements that can be made tangible
  4. Create a tangible user interface to realize all the interaction required
  5. Port it to a touch screen or conventional user interface

The steps 1-4 will ensure simplicity and in step 5 you may lose some of the “ah” and “wow” but it is very likely that you have created a usable and simple interface!

>German Workshop on Tangible Interaction

>Friday and Saturday we hosted the GI working groups on tangible interaction (GI Arbeitskreis Be-greifbare Interaction in gemischten Wirklichkeiten) for the second inventor’s workshop. We were positively surprised that more than 30 people took part. We started with a set of nice demos from our students and then Nicolas Villar presented an invited talk.

The concept of the workshop was to create ideas by looking more closely at different materials that may be used for interaction and by assessing novel interaction technologies. On Friday afternoon we had several tables with material (e.g. smart materials, conductive fabric, magnetic materials, etc.) and technologies (e.g. VoodooIO, EduWear kit, Physiological sensing based on the Nexus system). We bought a set of materials from MUTR Teaching Materials. In groups the participants create many design ideas by imagining a certain technology to be used in a specific context.

The social event was at the unperfekthaus.de in Essen – if you visit Essen this is a “must see”. The concept is unique!

On Saturday we started with an exercise to investigate the qualities of tangible UIs in comparison to traditional GUIs. For this we looked at different games (e.g. Space invaders, Super Mario, Sims, Halo) and though how we would make them more tangible and what pros and cons are there for the tangible and GUI version. In this context we also discussed the approach of exertion interfaces [1].

The rest of the morning was spent working on more concrete ideas for the concepts created on Friday afternoon – with remarkable results – see the Wiki for details.

[1] http://exertioninterfaces.com/

German Workshop on Tangible Interaction

Friday and Saturday we hosted the GI working groups on tangible interaction (GI Arbeitskreis Be-greifbare Interaction in gemischten Wirklichkeiten) for the second inventor’s workshop. We were positively surprised that more than 30 people took part. We started with a set of nice demos from our students and then Nicolas Villar presented an invited talk.

The concept of the workshop was to create ideas by looking more closely at different materials that may be used for interaction and by assessing novel interaction technologies. On Friday afternoon we had several tables with material (e.g. smart materials, conductive fabric, magnetic materials, etc.) and technologies (e.g. VoodooIO, EduWear kit, Physiological sensing based on the Nexus system). We bought a set of materials from MUTR Teaching Materials. In groups the participants create many design ideas by imagining a certain technology to be used in a specific context.

The social event was at the unperfekthaus.de in Essen – if you visit Essen this is a “must see”. The concept is unique!

On Saturday we started with an exercise to investigate the qualities of tangible UIs in comparison to traditional GUIs. For this we looked at different games (e.g. Space invaders, Super Mario, Sims, Halo) and though how we would make them more tangible and what pros and cons are there for the tangible and GUI version. In this context we also discussed the approach of exertion interfaces [1].

The rest of the morning was spent working on more concrete ideas for the concepts created on Friday afternoon – with remarkable results – see the Wiki for details.

[1] http://exertioninterfaces.com/