This paper describes an example of designing an ambient information visualization that leverages the two factors: aesthetics and utility. The authors discussed the design of an informative art that also serves as a bus schedule located in a station. The visual design is based on Mondrian styles and a couple of graphical encodings convey the underlying information. The design process involves several user feedback and redesigns, with four lessons concluded for future work in designing ambient information visualization.
- “(ambient infovis) … must strike a balance between aesthetic appeal and usefulness.”
- “Informative art is a subset of ambient information visualization”
- Four lessons:
- “by finding information that is relevant to the place where the ambient display is located, every person spending time at that place becomes a potential user”;
- “the rate of change in the information should be frequent enough to promote relevance, but the developer can affect the visual appearance by slowing down the changes of adding a small amount of animation”;
- “basing a visualization on an artistic style need not hinder – and might even support – the readability and comprehension of an ambient infovis installation”
- “letting features of the information source affect the visual encoding, thus providing a mnemonic to remember the mapping, is a good way to support the comprehension of the display”
- We can think about our own ambient infovis by relating it to the four lessons.
- At-a-glance infovis: can we provide users with such bold, easy-to-read, limited but sufficiently useful insight or information at a glance?