Proactive Visualization Through Interactivity

One of the benefits of the computer and digital data visualization is that we can have a dialogue between the computer and ourselves. Unlike printed visualizations where visualizations are the ends, interactive visualizations should be about the beginning.

Schedulenaut easily allows you to understand everyones availability by using visual cues. The darker a spot is, the more likely someone is available. The taller the spot, the more preferred it is.

Datea Overlay

Unfortunately, while this is a great way to understand at a glance the situation, it is less useful for looking at details. There is opposition between summaries and details. In order to have a great summary, everyone's availability has to be equalized and uniform—lest it be bias. But how do we share details simultaneously in order to allow people to gleam information they need, and not what we think they need?

The key is to use interactivity. If a user begins interacting within a data set, it is highly likely that they are interested in it. As a result, it would be extremely useful for the computer to provide more on the fly. Softwares are most useful when they are proactive.

Connecting Data is Proactive

Within a page, there is a lot of data already. However, a user can only interact with one segment of data, a part of the page, at a time, since they control only one cursor.

That being said, all other segments of data are still in their eyes' periphery. Therefore, we can reveal more data to the viewer by simply reacting to their activity.

For example: as before, users can quickly see which is the best available time, but not who is actually available. Thankfully, we already have the segment of data that represents possible users (the Guest segment). Therefore, we can simply connect the calendar segment with the guest segment in order to reveal more information. *That is: the Guest segment can react to where the cursor is, and highlight who is available under the mouse at the current time. *

Interacting with Data

Conclusion

There are always opportunities to reveal more information without the need of adding more data ink, especially with the interactive data visualization.