Analysis – Approaches to Interactive Data Visualization

With the proliferation of digital technology in recent years, there are now many ways users can interact and input data. The traditional mouse and keyboard forms of input are still prevalent, but are now alongside touchscreens, motion tracking, audio input, and more. Something to consider when iterating and moving my project forward will be how exactly the user should interact with the work to get a response. This post will show and discuss some examples of innovative forms of interaction I have discovered through research.

http://donottouch.org/ is a crowd-sourced music video, providing the user with a set of instructions to follow in conjunction with previous recordings of other users’ cursors on the screen. Through the simple and traditional form of mouse input, a continually generative music video has been created as users make a permanent mark on it – adding their own recording of their input each time. Some instructions additionally apply to a sense of a group, such as “make a mask” over someone’s face – the user has to respond to what previous users did too, creating a unique experience for each user.

All pointers are recorded from other users' sessions.
All pointers are recorded from other users’ sessions.

The below video is of an innovative digital art installation, a wall of LED’s which reacts to water. This form of interacting with technology blurs the line between the digital and the physical, as the response on the screen is much like throwing paint or other liquid over a wall, but it is still a digitized response to an otherwise non-technological user input that they perform physically.


These are just two examples of imaginative ways digital designers have experimented with user control and input in recent years. The next step for my project will be to consider how I want the audience to interact with and control my piece of data visualization.

 

References

Fourneau, A., 2012. Water Light Graffiti. digitalarti.com [online]. Available from: http://www.digitalarti.com/wlg

Moniker, 2013. Do Not Touch [online]. Available from: http://donottouch.org

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