W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-wai-rd@w3.org > October 2003

Re: FW: Please review: Draft Call which includes Use Cases

From: Marja-Riitta Koivunen <marja@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 11:03:43 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Markku T. Hakkinen" <hakkinen@dinf.ne.jp>, "Public-Wai-Rd" <public-wai-rd@w3.org>

Promised rewrite of the rewrite to bring back some ideas of my original 
text while keeping this in short form. Here it is


2. Introduction

Occasionally Web users need to make sense of complex information and large 
data sets. This information includes scientific measurements, information 
of models, demographic information, information of Web communities, 
relationships between Web pages, and Web metadata. Researchers try to 
develop innovative graphical presentations of the information 
(visualizations) to make it easier for a user to see what is happening with 
one glimpse, make comparisons in several dimensions, and find 
irregularities or anomalities from the information. Especially 
visualizations try to 1) help users see new, interesting information or 
relationships between data or 2) help illustrate structures and known, 
useful relationships.

Our visual system is very good in processing a lot of data in parallel, 
seeing structures and detecting irregularities. However, users who cannot 
see well need other methods to learn about the relationships. In addition, 
users with cognitive disabilities may need simplified
presentations of complex visualizations, and  users who have difficulty in
interacting with spatial information may need information presented or operated
sequentially.  On the other hand, people with reading disabilities may find
visualizations easier to understand than text.

The goal of this event is to explore visualization research and discuss 
possible models that could be used to make data accessible for people with 
various disabilities. For example, we have a visualization of related Web 
sites that use icons with different sizes and colors to represent number of 
sites connections and the domain area, and clusters of icons to indicate 
related Web
sites.  How should these patterns be made available to a user who is 
blind?  Is it helpful to explain the patterns in a static text description, 
or should the user be offered a structure or different structures that can 
be navigated with sequentially?  What structures are best to form mental 
models of the information? What about a list of automatically detected 
irregularities or a list of questions that can be asked about the data that 
allows one to get started and then dig deeper to expose more relationships?

Another example is a bar chart;  some bars are several times longer than
others while some are so small they are barely noticeable.  Reading the
number associated with each bar may be useful but it does not capture the
instant recognition of seeing one bar twice as long as any other in the 
chart.  How can we
visualize these relationships in an accessible way?
Received on Wednesday, 15 October 2003 11:07:37 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 20:33:40 UTC