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Title: Designing human-centred visualisations to support collaboration
Author: Hicks, Martin J.
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis examines how the properties of visualisation user interfaces (Uls) can augment cognition during individual and collaborative problem solving activities. Claims pertaining to the benefits of visualisation UIs are well documented. In order to inform their application with respect to the context of use. this research aims to identify the particular properties that can support cognition, and to explore the different communicative and representational conditions under which these properties operate. The principal focus for investigation concerns issues surrounding the benefits of promoting visualisation Uls in distributed systems. This emphasis stems from a practical requirement for the design of visualisation UIs to support the analysis of telecommunication customer behavioural datasets within a collaborative environment. The design activities in this thesis followed a human-centred approach, realising a novel set of 20 and 30 graphical representations which were evaluated in a series of three task-based studies. Study I investigated the effects of 20 and 3D displays exhibiting different representational properties on individual problem solving. The results indicated a performance advantage for the 2D display and a subjective user preference for the 3D displays. However, overall. the comparable benefits were confounded by differences in representational characteristics. Studies 2 and 3 adopted 3D displays with equivalent representational characteristics to examine the effects of different communication mediums and representational configurations on collaborative problem solving behaviours. Study 2 confirmed the prediction that visually shared representations offers a more optimal setting for collaboration compared to audio only contexts. Study 3 substantiated previous findings by highlighting that collaborative activities are better supported by sharing representations with identical rather than complementary datasets. Overall, the thesis has implications for informing two key areas: I) visualisations for supporting individual and collaborative problem solving activities, and 2) the optimal configurations of visualisation Uis for supporting remote collaborations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available