The visual and beyond: characterizing experiences with auditory, haptic and visual data representations

Trevor Hogan, Uta Hinrichs, Eva Hornecker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

18 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Research in sonification and physicalization have expanded data representation techniques to include senses beyond the visual. Yet, little is known of how people interpret and make sense of haptic and sonic compared to visual representations. We have conducted two phenomenologically oriented comparative studies (applying the Repertory Grid and the Microphenomenological interview technique) to gather in-depth accounts of people's interpretation and experience of different representational modalities that included auditory, haptic and visual variations . Our findings show a rich characterization of these different representational modalities: our visually oriented representations engage through their familiarity, accuracy and easy interpretation, while our representations that stimulated auditory and haptic interpretation were experienced as more ambiguous, yet stimulated an engaging interpretation of data that involved the whole body. We describe and discuss in detail participants' processes of making sense and generating meaning using the modalities' unique characteristics, individually and as a group. Our research informs future research in the area of multimodal data representations from both a design and methodological perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS'17)
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Print)9781450349222
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2017
EventDesigning Interactive Systems: Space, Place, and Interface - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jun 201714 Jun 2017


ConferenceDesigning Interactive Systems
Abbreviated titleDIS
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Qualitative evalutation
  • Sonification
  • Physicalization
  • Phenomenology
  • Repertory Grid
  • Micro-phenomenological interview
  • Data interpretation
  • Embodiment


Dive into the research topics of 'The visual and beyond: characterizing experiences with auditory, haptic and visual data representations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this