Interfacing Information in User Studies with Mixed Methods



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User studies have been growing larger in terms of size and duration. This is an exciting development because user studies are realistically performed beyond the lab environments. Yet, these studies are challenging because researchers have to organize and analyze large amounts of data. Proper statistical analysis is critical and has received a lot of attention. One aspect that has been neglected is a visual interface to the study's results. Such an interface can support qualitative understanding, conveying at a glance studies of sympathetic responses. A case in point is the student exam study that we discuss in this research. One challenge that such a research faces is effective visualization of the study data (e.g., physiological data) that otherwise requires technical expertise to comprehend. Another challenge is the multidimensionality of the study data. Static snapshots (e.g., performance data) and dynamic evolution (e.g., physiological data) have to be visualized at a glance. Moreover, the visualization scheme should take into account spatiotemporal aspect of the examination by presenting study results from multiple subjects over a period. In this research we propose a set of designing principles for effective visualization of the study results. The designing principles are evaluated on the student exam study which aims is to understand students' stress patterns while taking course exams. In particular, a visualization interface is developed as per the designing principles to comprehend the exam study results at a glance. The interface represents voluminous data in a way that the users with little domain specific knowledge can be able to derive meaningful conclusions. It effectively displays the students' course performance data and their stress profile in one glance. The interface also allows inter-subject and intra-subject comparisons in a few mouse clicks or finger taps.



Visualization, Mixed Methods