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The Science of Interaction



Theresa O'Connell, John Stasko, John Dill, William Pike, Alan MacEachren


There is a growing recognition within the visual analytics community that interaction and inquiry are inextricable. It is through the interactive manipulation of a visual interface the analytic discourse that knowledge is constructed, tested, refined, and shared. This paper reflects on the interaction challenges raised in the visual analytics research and development agenda and further explores the relationship between interaction and cognition. It identifies recent exemplars of visual analytics research that have made substantive progress toward the goals of a true science of interaction, which must include theories and testable premises about the most appropriate mechanisms for human-information interaction. Six areas for further work are highlighted as those among the highest priorities for the next five years of visual analytics research: ubiquitous, embodied interaction; capturing user intentionality; knowledge-based interfaces; collaboration; principles of design and perception; and interoperability. Ultimately, the goal of a science of interaction is to support the visual analytics community through the recognition and implementation of best practices in the representation of and interaction with visual displays.
Information Visualization


Interaction, usability engineering, visual analytics


O'Connell, T. , Stasko, J. , Dill, J. , Pike, W. and MacEachren, A. (2009), The Science of Interaction, Information Visualization (Accessed June 24, 2024)


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Created December 15, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017