The information explosion that accompanied the world wide web led to exponential increases in the amount of information available to the average human, but until recently, the tools available to users to make sense of this information remained limited and crude. As anybody who has used the web to do research can attest, finding the right information is a lot harder than finding a lot of information. Recent advances in web technologies have made it possible to design interfaces that respond in real time to changes in data and user input, leading to an explosion of innovative interfaces that allow users to directly manipulate and visualize data in new ways. In this talk, we will deconstruct some cutting-edge interfaces which support users in a wide range of tasks, from organizing and exploring information, to making predictions, learning and decision-making. We’ll touch upon how these interfaces take advantage of users’ perceptual and cognitive strengths, and provide support for their weaknesses. We’ll consider the usability of various approaches, and the design patterns behind them. The interfaces we’ll consider include dynamic visualizations that incorporate advanced filtering options, new approaches to imposing structure on freeform information such as user reviews, and even humble graphs packed with aha! moments. What these interfaces have in common is their ability to provide customized information on demand, and this time around users get to customize more than their color schemes.
Abstract & Slides