This paper describes an approach that puts even inexperienced users in charge of force-directed layouts. The visual interface to a powerful but relatively easy to use visualization grammar has been augmented with sliders for controlling the strength of constraints applied to visual objects. Users can change the balance of power between constraints while an animated visualization is running, turn off the constraints affecting the layout, or return a layout to its pre-constraint-solving specification. An initial empirical evaluation supported the usefulness of this interactive design intervention for providing user control over force-directed layouts. This approach is a step towards addressing the lack of tools with which less sophisticated users can design customized visualizations that best meet their needs.


Visualization language force-directed layout constraint specification information visualization 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy Lucas
    • 1
  1. 1.Bentley UniversityWalthamUSA

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