with Hidy Kong, Karrie Karahalios
Presenters, such as analysts briefing to an executive committee, often use visualizations to convey information. In these cases, providing clear visual guidance is important to communicate key concepts without confusion. This paper explores visual cues that guide attention to a particular area of a visualization. We developed a visual cue taxonomy distinguishing internal from external cues, designed a web tool based on the taxonomy, and conducted a user study with 24 participants to understand user preferences in choosing visual cues. Participants perceived internal cues (e.g., transparency, brightness, and magnification) as the most useful visual cues and often combined them with other internal or external cues to emphasize areas of focus for their audience. Interviews also revealed that the choice of visual cues depends on not only the chart type, but also the presentation setting, the audience, and the function cues are serving. Considering the complexity of choosing visual cues, we provide design implications for improving the organization, consistency, and integration of visual cues within existing workflows.