Authors: Mi Feng, Evan Peck, Lane Harrison
Abstract: The diverse and vibrant ecosystem of interactive visualizations on the web presents an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to observe and analyze how everyday people interact with data visualizations. However, existing metrics of visualization interaction behavior used in research do not fully reveal the breadth of peoplesí open-ended explorations with visualizations. One possible way to address this challenge is to determine high-level goals for visualization interaction metrics, and infer corresponding features from user interaction data that characterize different aspects of peoplesí explorations of visualizations. In this paper, we address this challenge by identifying needs for visualization behavior analysis, and by developing corresponding candidate features that can be inferred from usersí interaction data with visualization. We then propose metrics that capture novel aspects of peoplesí open-ended explorations, including exploration uniqueness and exploration pacing. We evaluate these metrics along with four other metrics recently proposed in visualization literature by applying them to interaction data from prior visualization studies. The results of these evaluations suggest that these new metrics 1) reveal new characteristics of peoplesí use of visualizations, 2) can be used to evaluate statistical differences between visualization designs, and 3) are statistically independent of prior metrics used in visualization research. We discuss implications of these results for future studies, including the potential for applying these metrics in visualization interaction analysis, as well as emerging challenges in developing a design space of metrics for visualization engagement.