Here are some take-away notes from the course on presenting data and information that Edward Tufte gave in Seattle on July 17.
Archive for the 'Usability' Category
Being able to distinguish different meanings of a term may turn out to be the next big step forward for web search engines. There are quite a few people working on this now; here is a quick survey in which I check how well the different efforts handle the term “Kiwi”.
Here are some interesting points from a talk given by Daniel E. Rose (Yahoo!).
According to this paper the most influential criteria engineers and scientists use for selecting information resources are not quality or even familiarity but 1. the time it takes to track down information and 2. the authoritativeness of the resource. Perhaps this explains why researchers are increasingly using Google Scholar rather than PubMed (PubMed is more authoritative, but Google’s ranked results allow you to find publications faster) and why the NCBI still receives more requests for protein-related data than we do (both sites are equally bad at searching, but NCBI may be seen as more authoritative).
From a recent review article in Nature Genetics:
[...] current ad hoc IR systems are not able to retrieve our example sentence when they are given the query ‘yeast cell cycle’. Instead, this could be achieved by realizing that ‘yeast’ is a synonym for S. cerevisiae, that ‘cell cycle’ is a Gene Ontology term, that the word ‘Cdc28′ refers to an S. cerevisiae protein and finally, by looking up the Gene Ontology terms that relate to Cdc28 to connect it to the yeast cell cycle. Although this will not be easy, we see this form of query expansion as the next logical step for ad hoc IR.
Brief review of Information Visualization by Colin Ware. This is a textbook with a great amount of detail on the physics, biology and psychology behind visual perception.
Nature reports about a study showing that users may be deciding on whether or not they like a site within a fraction of a second.