Graph Sketcher: Extending Illustration to Quantitative Graphs


Scientists, engineers, and educators commonly need to make graphs that quickly illustrate quantitative ideas yet are not based on specific data sets. We call these graphs quantitative concept diagrams (QCDs). Existing charting and illustration programs make it possible to produce such graphs, but they are so time-consuming that users tend to sketch the graphs by hand instead. To reduce the cost of creating QCDs, we developed Graph Sketcher, a quantitative graphing tool that deeply integrates the data plotting capabilities of charting programs with the direct manipulation techniques of illustration programs. We show that our integrated interface substantially reduces the time needed to create QCDs, and we further show that real Graph Sketcher users both enjoy and take advantage of the interface improvements to create QCDs in a wide range of fields.

Robin Stewart
m.c. schraefel
Publication Date: 
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Publication Information: 
Proceedings of the 27th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2009), Boston, MA, April 4-9, 2009