Dissertation Talk: Interaction History for Building Human Data Interfaces by Yifan Wu; Thursday, April 22, 2 PM PST
April 22, 2021
Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
History provides context for the present. In the same way, past user interactions provide context for present explorations. This thesis investigates ways to reify user interaction history to address emerging challenges in the design and programming of human data interfaces.
We leverage interaction history in three different but connected ways. First is to enhance the design of interactions with delays, such as when working with remote databases. We use interaction history as a visual anchor to facilitate concurrent interactions, which ameliorate the cognitive burdens caused by delays. Second is to facilitate the programming of interactive visualizations involving asynchronous communication with remote databases. We capture event histories as a first-class programming construct, allowing the developer to declaratively specify what data to compute and how to update the state of the user interface. This way, developers avoid the low-level details of accessing remote data and coordinating events. The third and last way is to use interaction history to create a bridge between interaction design and programming. We capture and reify interaction history in both computational notebooks and interactive visualizations. Affordances on these reified histories help data scientists move fluidly between the two mediums.