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Composites: A Tangible Interaction Paradigm for Visual Data Analysis in Design Practice
Hariharan Subramonyam, Eytan Adar, and Steven M. Drucker

Conventional tools for visual analytics emphasize a linear production workflow and lack organic "work surfaces." A better surface would simultaneously support collaborative visualization construction, data and design exploration, and reasoning. To facilitate data-driven design within existing design tools such as card sorting, we introduce Composites, a tangible, augmented reality interface for constructing visualizations on large surfaces. In response to the placement of physical sticky-notes, Composites projects visualizations and data onto large surfaces. Our spatial grammar allows the designer to flexibly construct visualizations through the use of the notes. Similar to affinity-diagramming, the designer can "connect" the physical notes to data, operations, and visualizations which can then be re-arranged based on creative needs. We develop mechanisms (sticky interactions, visual hinting, etc.) to provide guiding feedback to the end-user. By leveraging low-cost technology, Composites extends a working surface to support a broad range of workflows without limiting creative design thinking.

Preprint: PDF, to appear, AVI'22