SmartCues: A Multitouch Query Approach for Details-on-Demand through Dynamically Computed Overlays
Hariharan Subramonyam and Eytan Adar

Details-on-demand is a crucial feature in the visual information-seeking process but is often only implemented in highly constrained settings. The most common solution, hover queries (i.e., tooltips), are fast and expressive but are usually limited to single mark (e.g., a bar in a bar chart). 'Queries' to retrieve details for more complex sets of objects (e.g., comparisons between pairs of elements, averages across multiple items, trend lines, etc.) are difficult for end-users to invoke explicitly. Further, the output of these queries require complex annotations and overlays which need to be displayed and dismissed on demand to avoid clutter. In this work we introduce SmartCues, a library to support details-on-demand through dynamically computed overlays. For end-users, SmartCues provides multitouch interactions to construct complex queries for a variety of details. For designers, SmartCues offers an interaction library that can be used out-of-the-box, and can be extended for new charts and detail types. We demonstrate how SmartCues can be implemented across a wide array of visualization types and, through a lab study, show that end users can effectively use SmartCues.

Pre-print: PDF, (5.6Mb), to appear, VIS'18, Demo and code