Plaisant, C. (January 2005)
Information Visualization aims to provide compact graphical presentations and user interfaces for interactively manipulating large numbers of items. We present a simple “data by tasks taxonomy” then discuss the challenges of providing universal usability, with example applications using geo-referenced data. Information Visualization has been shown to be a powerful visual thinking or decision tool but it is becoming important for services to reach and empower every citizen. Technological advances are needed to deal with user diversity (age, language, disabilities, etc.) but also with the variety of technology used (screen size, network speed, etc.) and the gaps in user's knowledge (general knowledge, knowledge of the application domain, of the interface syntax or semantic). We present examples that illustrate how those challenges can be addressed.