TouchVis

An exploration of touch based interaction with visualizations on a tablet.

TouchVis UIAs more applications move from the desktop to touch devices like tablets, designers must wrestle with the costs of porting a design with as little revision of the UI as possible from one device to the other, or of optimizing the interaction per device. We consider the tradeoffs between two versions of a UI for working with data on a touch tablet. One interface is based on using the conventional desktop metaphor (WIMP) with a control panel, push buttons, and checkboxes – where the mouse click is effectively replaced by a finger tap. The other interface (which we call FLUID) eliminates the control panel and focuses touch actions on the data visualization itself. We describe our design process and evaluation of each interface. We discuss the significantly better task performance and preference for the FLUID interface, in particular how touch design may challenge certain assumptions about the performance benefits of WIMP interfaces that do not hold on touch devices, such as the superiority of gestural vs. control panel based interaction.

Publications