Reconfiguration Strategies with Composite Data Physicalizations

Kim Sauvé, David Verweij, Jason Alexander, Steven Houben

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Composite data physicalizations allow for the physical reconfiguration of data points, creating new opportunities for interaction and engagement. However, there is a lack of understanding of people's strategies and behaviors when directly manipulating physical data objects. In this paper, we systematically characterize different reconfiguration strategies using six exemplar physicalizations. We asked 20 participants to reorganize these exemplars with two levels of restriction: changing a single data object versus changing multiple data objects. Our findings show that there were two main reconfiguration strategies used: changes in proximity and changes in atomic orientation. We further characterize these using concrete examples of participant actions in relation to the structure of the physicalizations. We contribute an overview of reconfiguration strategies, which informs the design of future manually reconfigurable and dynamic composite physicalizations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI'21: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Jan 2021


  • Data Physicalization
  • Physical Visualization
  • Composite Data Physicalization
  • Reconfiguration

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