Left Brain, Right Brain: An Interaction Paradigm for Visual Analytics and Creativity

Fanny Chevalier, University of Toronto,

Monday, May 13 2019, 4pm, Inspace: Shot 2019-05-12 at 11.25.55.pngAnalytic and creative tasks are often thought to be governed by opposite sides of the brain. On the one hand, creativity is typically considered right-brain: a spontaneous, free-form, and artistic pursuit driven by intuition. In light of these characteristics, creative authoring software has sought to preserve continuity across tasks during the creative process through direct manipulation. On the other hand, analysis is generally regarded as left-brain: a logical, methodical, and systematic process driven by rationale. It is not surprising, then, that current visual analytics tools continue to largely rely on an interaction model made up of a series of discrete operations to manipulate data.

But is there no creativity in analysis?

In this talk, Fanny argues that analysis is no less a creative process and that operationalization can hinder the creativity of analysis in exploratory scenarios. Just as creative authoring tools have aimed for directness, next generation visual analytics tools should also empower analysts through control and immediacy. She will demonstrate through a selection of her research that the same design principles can be applied to support continuous processes in both visual analytics and creative authoring endeavours and discuss prospective directions for visualization research that build on these principles.


A Lie Reveals the Truth: for Task-Aligned Data Presentation (CHI 2019 talk)

Jacob Ritchie, MSc.University of Toronto / PhD candidate Stanford

Monday, May 13 2019, 4pm, Inspace:

Screen Shot 2019-05-12 at 11.24.25.png

Designers are often discouraged from creating data visualizations that omit or distort information, because they can easily be misleading. However, the same representations that could be used to deceive can provide benefits when chosen to appropriately align with user tasks. We present an interaction technique, Perceptual Glimpses, which allows for the transparent presentation of so-called ‘deceptive’ views of information that are made temporary using quasimodes. When presented using Perceptual Glimpses, message-level exaggeration caused by a truncated axis on a bar chart was reduced under some conditions, but users require guidance to avoid errors, and view presentation order may affect trust. When Perceptual Glimpses was extended to display a range of views that might otherwise be deceptive or difficult to understand if shown out of context, users were able to understand and leverage these transformations to perform a range of low-level tasks. Design recommendations and examples suggest extensions of the technique.


Going Places: To know a city is to know its streets

Monday, Feb 11 2019, 10am, Informatics Forum 4.31/33 (talk will be 20-30min, then Q&A).

Tobias Kauer (@tobi_vierzwo), Potsdam University of Applied Sciences, Germany


Georeferenced Social Media Data is a rich resource to capture, describe and predict the everyday life in our cities. However, using it to produce knowledge about public space carries the risk of misrepresentation and oversimplification. Critical Data Studies offer strategies to address these shortcomings and collect counter-data, working towards a multi-perspective view on how we get to know our cities. In this presentation, I will briefly introduce these strategies based on one study in Berlin.
Tobias Kauer is an early stage researcher from Berlin, focusing on visualizing urban data. After working as an UX designer for eight years, Tobias just finished the newly found urban futures Master programme at FH Potsdam. Tobias is an Nokia Bell Labs alumni, founder of a Berlin-based Co-Working space and Co-host of the Maptime Berlin Meetup.