UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Discourse with Visual Health Data: Design of Human-Data Interaction Ola, Oluwakemi; Sedig, Kamran


Previous work has suggested that large repositories of data can revolutionize healthcare activities; however, there remains a disconnection between data collection and its effective usage. The way in which users interact with data strongly impacts their ability to not only complete tasks but also capitalize on the purported benefits of such data. Interactive visualizations can provide a means by which many data-driven tasks can be performed. Recent surveys, however, suggest that many visualizations mostly enable users to perform simple manipulations, thus limiting their ability to complete tasks. Researchers have called for tools that allow for richer discourse with data. Nonetheless, systematic design of human-data interaction for visualization tools is a non-trivial task. It requires taking into consideration a myriad of issues. Creation of visualization tools that incorporate rich human-data discourse would benefit from the use of design frameworks. In this paper, we examine and present a design process that is based on a conceptual human-data interaction framework. We discuss and describe the design of interaction for a visualization tool intended for sensemaking of public health data. We demonstrate the utility of systematic interaction design in two ways. First, we use scenarios to highlight how our design approach supports a rich and meaningful discourse with data. Second, we present results from a study that details how users were able to perform various tasks with health data and learn about global health trends.

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CC BY 4.0

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