The Effect of Exploration Mode and Frame of Reference in Immersive Analytics

The Effect of Exploration Mode and Frame of Reference in Immersive Analytics Article

Jorge Alberto Wagner Filho, Wolfgang Stuerzlinger, Luciana Nedel


The design space for user interfaces for Immersive Analytics applications is vast. Designers can combine navigation and manipulation to enable data exploration with ego- or exocentric views, have the user operate at different scales, or use different forms of navigation with varying levels of physical movement. This freedom results in a multitude of different viable approaches. Yet, there is no clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each choice. Our goal is to investigate the affordances of several major design choices, to enable both application designers and users to make better decisions. In this work, we assess two main factors, exploration mode and frame of reference, consequently also varying visualization scale and physical movement demand. To isolate each factor, we implemented nine different conditions in a Space-Time Cube visualization use case and asked 36 participants to perform multiple tasks. We analyzed the results in terms of performance and qualitative measures and correlated them with participants' spatial abilities. While egocentric room-scale exploration significantly reduced mental workload, exocentric exploration improved performance in some tasks. Combining navigation and manipulation made tasks easier by reducing workload, temporal demand, and physical effort.

Date of publication: Feb - 2021
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