Structuring Relations between User Tasks and Interactive Tasks Using a Visual Problem-Solving Approach

  • Qiuju ZhangEmail author
  • Menno-Jan Kraak
  • Connie A. Blok
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


This paper presents a refined taxonomy of user tasks and interactive tasks based on a review of the fields of information visualization, geovisualization and visual analytics. Our aim is to find common ground across previous studies to support those who seek parameters for designing visual solutions to users’ domain problems. We first abstract the design procedure for providing visual solutions to address users’ problems as a visual problem-solving approach. Then, we relate user and interactive tasks according to the roles they play in the approach. User tasks, which are translations of user problems, guide the design of the visualization and interactive tasks. Interactive tasks provide users with the means to manipulate the visualization environment to accomplish user tasks. We then identify three primitive user tasks—identify, localize and compare—and all other user tasks are considered as compound tasks consisting of sequential primitives. Furthermore, we extract and merge the interaction operators in interactive tasks with the same or similar functions among the existing taxonomies into eleven categories: re-encode, arrange, coordinate, aggregate/segregate, filter, derive, navigate, query, search, select and enabling. We expect this refined taxonomy to provide a more intuitive view of the logical relations between tasks.


User task Interactive task Interaction Visual solution Visual problem solving 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ITCUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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