Emergent Features and Perceptual Objects: Re-Examining Fundamental Principles in Analogical Display Design
Two sets of design principles for analogical visual displays, based on the concepts of emergent features and perceptual objects, are described. An interpretation of previous empirical findings for three displays (bar graph, polar graphic, alphanumeric) is provided from both perspectives. A fourth display (configural coordinate) was designed using principles of ecological interface design (i.e. direct perception). An experiment was conducted to evaluate performance (accuracy and latency of state identification) with these four displays. Numerous significant effects were obtained and a clear rank ordering of performance emerged (from best to worst): configural coordinate, bar graph, alphanumeric and polar graphic. These findings are consistent with principles of design based on emergent features; they are inconsistent with principles based on perceptual objects. Some limitations of the configural coordinate display are discussed and a redesign is provided.
Holt, J. C.,
Bennett, K. B.,
& Flach, J.
(2015). Emergent Features and Perceptual Objects: Re-Examining Fundamental Principles in Analogical Display Design. Ergonomics, 58 (12), 1960-1973.