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Susceptibility of domain experts to color manipulation indicate a need for design principles in data visualization


Christen, Markus; Brugger, Peter; Fabrikant, Sara I (2021). Susceptibility of domain experts to color manipulation indicate a need for design principles in data visualization. PLoS ONE, 16(2):e0246479.

Abstract

Color is key for the visual encoding of data, yet its use reportedly affects decision making in important ways. We examined the impact of various popular color schemes on experts’ and lay peoples’ map-based decisions in two, geography and neuroscience, scenarios, in an online visualization experiment. We found that changes in color mappings influence domain experts, especially neuroimaging experts, more in their decision-making than novices. Geographic visualization experts exhibited more trust in the unfavorable rainbow color scale than would have been predicted by their suitability ratings and their training, which renders them sensitive to scale appropriateness. Our empirical results make a strong call for increasing scientists’ awareness for and training in perceptually salient and cognitively informed design principles in data visualization.

Abstract

Color is key for the visual encoding of data, yet its use reportedly affects decision making in important ways. We examined the impact of various popular color schemes on experts’ and lay peoples’ map-based decisions in two, geography and neuroscience, scenarios, in an online visualization experiment. We found that changes in color mappings influence domain experts, especially neuroimaging experts, more in their decision-making than novices. Geographic visualization experts exhibited more trust in the unfavorable rainbow color scale than would have been predicted by their suitability ratings and their training, which renders them sensitive to scale appropriateness. Our empirical results make a strong call for increasing scientists’ awareness for and training in perceptually salient and cognitively informed design principles in data visualization.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences, General Medicine
Language:English
Date:4 February 2021
Deposited On:10 Feb 2021 14:50
Last Modified:10 Feb 2021 14:51
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0246479
Project Information:
  • : FunderH2020
  • : Grant ID740426
  • : Project TitleGeoViSense - GeoViSense: Towards a transdisciplinary human sensor science of human visuo-spatial decision making with geographic information displays

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