We studied the relative importance of several features in visual conjunction
search. It appears that
colour is the dominant feature in colour-size and colour-orientation
conjunction searches. This is
the conclusion from two experiments in which we first determined for
different features (colour and
orientation in the first experiment; colour and size in the second
experiment) individual contrasts for
which subjects scored 70 percent correct in a single feature search task.
difficulty, it appeared that in conjunction searches subjects made more size
errors (first experiment) and
orientation errors (second experiment) than colour errors. These findings
suggest that colour dominates over
other features in conjunction search.This might have implications for
research disciplines such as information
visualisation: when multidimensionaldata are visualised by using colour to
code one dimension, it might be that
information carried by other visual featuresis rendered less noticeable.
Incorporating results from experiments on human perception is playing an
role in visualisation but has appeared to be far from trivial. Often it is
not possible to simply apply the
results from (typically simple) psychophysics experiments to (typically
complex) visualisation environments.
In this talk, I will present and discuss the results from the two mentioned
experiments. Additionally, I will discuss
a series of experiments that we are currenty settings up and with which we
aim to answer the
question what the consequences of the previous findings are for
visualisation design principles.
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