Prof. Mahyar will be serving as the Associate Chair of the Visualization subcommittee for CHI 2022.
Prof. Mahyar’s new paper “A Framework for Open Civic Design: Integrating Public Participation, Crowdsourcing, and Design Thinking” was accepted to the ACM Journal for Digital Government: Research and Practice. Congratulations to Dr. Mahyar and her co-authors Brandon Reynante and Steven P. Dow.
Designing with Pictographs
Led by: Alyx Burns
Past studies have shown that when a visualization uses pictographs to encode data, they have a positive effect on memory, engagement, and assessment of risk. However, little is known about how pictographs affect one’s ability to understand a visualization, beyond memory for values and trends. We conducted two crowdsourced experiments to compare the effectiveness of using pictographs when showing part-to-whole relationships. In Experiment 1, we compared pictograph arrays to more traditional bar and pie charts. We tested participants’ ability to generate high-level insights following Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives via 6 free-response questions. We found that accuracy for extracting information and generating insights did not differ overall between the two versions. To explore the motivating differences between the designs, we conducted a second experiment where participants compared charts containing pictograph arrays to more traditional charts on 5 metrics and explained their reasoning. We found that some participants preferred the way that pictographs allowed them to envision the topic more easily, while others preferred traditional bar and pie charts because they seem less cluttered and faster to read. These results suggest that, at least in simple visualizations depicting part-to-whole relationships, the choice of using pictographs has little influence on sensemaking and insight extraction. When deciding whether to use pictograph arrays, designers should consider visual appeal, perceived comprehension time, ease of envisioning the topic, and clutteredness.
If you are interested in working on or learning more about this project, please contact Alyx Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mahmood Jasim was awarded a Computing for Common Good Fellowship by UMass CICS to develop a tool for inclusive public input collection and analysis.
Mahmood Jasim and Professor Narges Mahyar will work with the town of Amherst officials to design and develop CommunityClick-virtual — an online collaborative tool that combines machine learning, data visualization, and citizensourcing technology for inclusive public input collection and analysis. The project will enable people from all social backgrounds to equitably share their opinions on civic issues and allow the town officials to make sense of large-scale public input to inform themselves prior to making critical policy decisions.
The HCI-VIS lab is delighted to welcome 8 new members this fall, including 2 post-docs: Mennatullah Hendawy and Zhiqiu Jiang and 6 PhD students: Hamza Elhamdadi, Aimen Gaba, Prateek Mantri, Mashrur Rashik, Mahsa Sahebdel Alamdari, and Zack While.
We will additionally be joined by Swapna Joshi, who will begin her Post-Doc in the Spring.
A new paper by lab members Alyx Burns, Dr. Cindy Xiong, and Dr. Narges Mahyar was accepted for publication in TVCG. The paper, titled “Designing with Pictographs: Envision Topics without Sacrificing Understanding,” examines the effects of replacing abstract shapes in traditional charts and graphs with pictograph arrays. They found that the pictographs had no impact on participant understanding, but impacted participants’ experience.
You can find a PDF of the paper on our website.
This past June, Mahmood Jasim, Enamul Hoque, Ali Sarvghad and Narges Mahyar’s paper titled “CommunityPulse: Facilitating Community Input Analysis by Surfacing Hidden Insights, Reflections, and Priorities” received an Honorable Mention Award at DIS 2021. Congratulations to all of the authors on this achievement!
You can find a PDF of the paper here.
Alongside Daniel Haehn, Steven Franconeri, Jessica Hullman, Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, and Hanspeter Pfister, Professor Narges Mahyar co-organized the Chart Question Answering Workshop as a part of the 2021 Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference that took place in June 2021. You can find more information on the workshop and a video of its proceedings at the workshop’s website: https://cqaw.github.io/
Together with Kumiyo Nakakoji, Prof. Mahyar organized ACM Creativity & Cognition 2021 Conference. Their goal was to create an exciting, inclusive and diverse paper track, and had some amazing sessions with great moderation & participation from the audience!
You can now access all the conference proceedings online here.
Together with Jane Fountain (School for Public Policy) and Ethan Zuckerman (School for Public Policy), Professors Narges Mahyar and Ali Sarvghad were awarded a UMass ADVANCE Collaborative Research Seed Grant from the UMass Amherst Institute of Diversity Sciences. More information on the grant is available in an article from the School for Public Policy.