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An Empirical Study on Using Visual Metaphors in Visualization / R Borgo; A Abdul-Rahman,; F Mohamed; P.W Grant; I Reppa; L Floridi; Min Chen

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Volume: 18

Swansea University Author: Reppa, Irene

Abstract

In written and spoken communications, metaphors are often used as an aid to help convey abstract or less tangibleconcepts. However, the benefits of using visual metaphors in visualization have so far been inconclusive. In this work, we reportan empirical study to evaluate hypotheses that visual meta...

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Published in: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Published: 2012
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa12366
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Abstract: In written and spoken communications, metaphors are often used as an aid to help convey abstract or less tangibleconcepts. However, the benefits of using visual metaphors in visualization have so far been inconclusive. In this work, we reportan empirical study to evaluate hypotheses that visual metaphors may aid memorization, visual search and concept comprehension.One major departure from previous metaphor-related experiments in the literature is that we make use of a dual-task methodologyin our experiment. This design offers an abstraction of typical situations where viewers do not have their full attention focused onvisualization (e.g., in meetings and classes). The use of the secondary task introduces “divided attention”, and makes the effects ofvisual metaphors more observable. In addition, it also serves as additional masking in memory-based trials. The results of this studyshow that visual metaphors can help participants better remember the information depicted in visualization. On the other hand, visualmetaphors can have a negative impact on the speed of visual search. The results also show a complex pattern as to the benefits ofvisual metaphors in helping participants grasp key concepts from visualization.
College: College of Human and Health Sciences