Trial-and-Error Interface for Transfer Function Specification in Direct Volume Rendering: A User Study

W. Qi and J.-B. Martens (The Netherlands)


Volume rendering, transfer function specification, graphical user interface, usability testing


Visualization via direct volume rendering is a very powerful technique for researchers to explore and interact with scien tific data. However, the complexity of specifying a suitable transfer function (TF) for a specific data set causes many usability problems in the interaction process. The prob lems are such that they discourage the wider use of volume rendering. This paper presents an overview of important usability issues in the TF specification process, in order to derive an experiment in which some of these issues can be studied in a controlled way. More specifically, the exper iment that we describe compares the user performance of some representative interfaces for TF specification. The ex perimental results have been analyzed from an engineering psychology point of view. The working memory has been identified as the core perception factor which has strong ef fects on the usability of TF specification. This is an im portant guideline for designers of such interfaces, and also suggests further questions that we intend to investigate in future experiments. Categories and Subject Descriptors I.3.7 [Computer Graphics]: Three-Dimensional Graphics and Realism; H.5.2 [Computer Graphics]: User Interfaces General Terms Visualization

Important Links:

Go Back