When (ish) is my bus? User-centered visualizations of uncertainty in everyday, mobile predictive systems

Matthew Kay, Tara Kola, Jessica R. Hullman, Sean A. Munson

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

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Users often rely on realtime predictions in everyday contexts like riding the bus, but may not grasp that such predictions are subject to uncertainty. Existing uncertainty visualizations may not align with user needs or how they naturally reason about probability. We present a novel mobile interface design and visualization of uncertainty for transit predictions on mobile phones based on discrete outcomes. To develop it, we identified domain specific design requirements for visualizing uncertainty in transit prediction through: 1) a literature review, 2) a large survey of users of a popular realtime transit application, and 3) an iterative design process. We present several candidate visualizations of uncertainty for realtime transit predictions in a mobile context, and we propose a novel discrete representation of continuous outcomes designed for small screens, quantile dotplots. In a controlled experiment we find that quantile dotplots reduce the variance of probabilistic estimates by ∼1.15 times compared to density plots and facilitate more confident estimation by end-users in the context of realtime transit prediction scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2016 - Proceedings, 34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages5092-5103
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450333627
DOIs
StatePublished - May 7 2016
Event34th Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016 - San Jose, United States
Duration: May 7 2016May 12 2016

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Other

Other34th Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose
Period5/7/165/12/16

Keywords

  • Dotplots
  • End-user visualization
  • Mobile interfaces
  • Transit predictions
  • Uncertainty visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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