RealViz – Interactive Visualizations for Real-Life Systems

A Research Group at Bentley University


Interactive Visualizations have recently become widely available in home and consumer settings, e.g. newspaper websites, government agencies and demonstrations of data analytics. Interactive visualizations in these platforms help users zoom in, traverse and manipulate data elements and groups, identify relationships between parameters, and generate and test temporal and other patterns with a view to helping users gain insights.

Such visual approaches to user interfaces remain scarce in the workplace. We see embedded interactive visualizations as a significant opportunity to enhance software system effectiveness, lower users’ perceptions of system complexity and increase user productivity. Achieving this goal requires the investigation of: human factors, design principles, and technical methodologies for successfully integrating such visualizations into complex, real-life tasks in the workplace.


The challenge is not one of merely developing new information presentation algorithms. In order to have a transformative effect on user productivity and satisfaction, visually-enhanced approaches must go beyond simply presenting information in an interactive fashion; they should be designed to support acting with and on the information to achieve the goals of a concrete user task.