Using Interactive Visual Reasoning to Support Sense-Making: Implications for Design

Neesha Kodagoda, Simon Attfield, B L William Wong, Chris Rooney, Sharmin (Tinni) Choudhury

This research aims to develop design guidelines for systems that support investigators and analysts in the exploration and assembly of evidence and inferences. We focus here on the problem of identifying candidate ヤinfluencersユ within a community of practice. To better understand this problem and its related cognitive and interaction needs, we conducted a user study using a system called INVISQUE (INteractive Visual Search and QUery Environment) loaded with content from the ACM Digital Library. INVISQUE supports search and manipulation of results over a freeform infinite ヤcanvasユ. The study focuses on the representations user create and their reasoning process. It also draws on some pre-established theories and frameworks related to sense-making and cognitive work in general, which we apply as a ヤtheoretical lensesユ to consider findings and articulate solutions. Analysing the user-study data in the light of these provides some understanding of how the high-level problem of identifying key players within a domain can translate into lower-level questions and interactions. This, in turn, has informed our understanding of representation and functionality needs at a level of description which abstracts away from the specifics of the problem at hand to the class of problems of interest. We consider the study outcomes from the perspective of implications for design.