The goal of a research institution is, ultimately, to share and disseminate knowledge. Yet the sheer volume of information produced by large institutions makes it challenging to keep track of the vast knowledge within. Information on who knows what is often scattered across multiple sources and media. Expertise tracking systems allow users to search for people who know answers, but do not support serendipitous discovery. ResearchWave is a large-display ambient visualization.
Installed in the social spaces of a research institution it was designed to help visitors and researchers alike develop awareness of research activities. ResearchWave represents information on research activities in a lightweight and aesthetically pleasing manner. It is based on a “walk up and use” approach: it uses multiple levels of visual encodings to engage people while allowing them to learn more with each novel encounter.
This project was developed in collaboration with Microsoft Research, Redmond.
Uta Hinrichs, Danyel Fisher and Nathalie Henry Riche. ResearchWave: An Ambient Visualizationfor Providing Awareness of Research Activities. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS), pages 31-34, August, 2010.