How to evaluate data visualizations across different levels of understanding

Alyxander Burns*, Cindy Xiong, Steven Franconeri, Alberto Cairo, Narges Mahyar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding a visualization is a multi-level process. A reader must extract and extrapolate from numeric facts, understand how those facts apply to both the context of the data and other potential contexts, and draw or evaluate conclusions from the data. A well-designed visualization should support each of these levels of understanding. We diagnose levels of understanding of visualized data by adapting Bloom's taxonomy, a common framework from the education literature. We describe each level of the framework and provide examples for how it can be applied to evaluate the efficacy of data visualizations along six levels of knowledge acquisition - knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. We present three case studies showing that this framework expands on existing methods to comprehensively measure how a visualization design facilitates a viewer's understanding of visualizations. Although Bloom's original taxonomy suggests a strong hierarchical structure for some domains, we found few examples of dependent relationships between performance at different levels for our three case studies. If this level-independence holds across new tested visualizations, the taxonomy could serve to inspire more targeted evaluations of levels of understanding that are relevant to a communication goal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 8th Evaluation and Beyond
Subtitle of host publicationMethodological Approaches for Visualization, BELIV 2020
EditorsAnastasia Bezerianos, Kyle Hall, Samuel Huron, Matthew Kay, Miriah Meyer, Michael Sedlmair
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages19-28
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781728196428
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Event8th IEEE Workshop on Evaluation and Beyond: Methodological Approaches for Visualization, BELIV 2020 - Virtual, Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: Oct 25 2020 → …

Publication series

NameProceedings - 8th Evaluation and Beyond: Methodological Approaches for Visualization, BELIV 2020

Conference

Conference8th IEEE Workshop on Evaluation and Beyond: Methodological Approaches for Visualization, BELIV 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Salt Lake City
Period10/25/20 → …

Keywords

  • Human-centered computing
  • Visualization
  • Visualization design and evaluation methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Media Technology

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