Exploring Complex Data
Exploring Complex Data

Exploring Complex Data

We collaborated with the Biomedical Department at TU/e to evaluate and re-design a system that they developed to ease the exploration  of complex data created by brain white matter fiber bundles. The system utilizes DTI (diffused tensor imaging) to create the visualizations that are currently used by researchers in the neuro-medical domain. Our goal was to create an interaction paradigm that would enable researchers to explore the data in a simplified way as well as enable them to collaborate with other researchers.

Project: Evaluation and redesign of Visual Analytics and Interaction Techniques in a Medical Domain
Role: Lead UX Researcher (experimental design, evaluation, analysis).
Deliverable: Guidelines for interface design in the biomedical domain.

We decided to build a tangible interface to interact with the data and enable collaboration.  We also wanted to refine the visualization by proposing the best settings that would promote a visually appealing and easy to understand graphic.  The re-design consisted of two parts: a new proposed visualization technique and design a of a new interaction (through a tangible interface) for the system.

I led all the user research efforts and created three distinct evaluations for each section:

1. Image Perception Test
2. Usability Evaluation of DTI Tool
3. Tangible Interface Design and Evaluation

Through this research, I provided a complete evaluation of the visualization as well as the usability of the system with medical experts. Additionally, we designed and evaluated a new technique for navigating the complex data via a tangible interface. This interface was evaluated with domain experts – the people who specialize in analysis of brain white matter – in comparison with regular computer interface. It was found that the interface was more useful in specific situations like collaboration or presenting. It was impressive that the interface that we created was found to be usable at least as well, or better, as mouse-and-keyboard, although all the users had extensive training with mouse, and no prior training with our tangible interface.

The results of the evaluations were provided to the Biomedical department as a set of guidelines to redesign their tool for better usability, choose the optimum settings to display the visualizations and a new platform for interaction with the system.

The video below shows a participant interacting with the tangible interface designed.

Here’s the video we made to explain the concept

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