North, C., Shneiderman, B. (May 2000)
Multiple coordinated visualizations enable users to rapidly explore complex information. However, users often need unforeseen combinations of coordinated visualizations that are appropriate for their data. Snap-Together Visualization enables data users to rapidly and dynamically mix and match visualizations and coordinations to construct custom exploration interfaces without programming. Snap's conceptual model is based on the relational database model. Users load relations into visualizations then coordinate them based on the relational joins between them. Users can create different types of coordinations such as: brushing, drill down, overview and detail view, and synchronized scrolling. Visualization developers can make their independent visualizations snap-able with a simple API. Evaluation of Snap revealed benefits, cognitive issues, and usability concerns. Data savvy users were very capable and thrilled to rapidly construct powerful coordinated visualizations. A snapped overview and detail-view coordination improved user performance by 30-80%, depending on task.