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Journal Article

Comparison of 2D & 3D Representations for Visualising Telecommunication Usage


Publication date

01 May 2003


This paper describes an empirical evaluation of one two-dimensional (2D), and two three-dimensional (3D) representations. These representations were developed to present customer behaviour information of telecommunications usage. The goal of the study was to investigate how the properties of these different but informationally equivalent representations supported information retrieval and problem solving using the database. Thirty-six participants performed a number of information retrieval and problem solving tasks, in one of three experimental conditions: 2D graph, 3D graph and 3D helix plot. Measures included performance time and accuracy and user attitudes concerning the usability of the displays. Despite certain navigational problems associated with the 2D representation, the results indicated a performance advantage for the 2D display compared with both 3D representations. Generally, the analyses revealed that the differences in representational characteristics have a significant effect on the level of cognitive effort required to perform the tasks.

Published in

Behaviour and Information Technology

Volume and page numbers

22 , 185 -202



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