Layout Effects on Sociogram Perception

  • Weidong Huang
  • Seok-Hee Hong
  • Peter Eades
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3843)


This paper describes a within-subjects experiment in which we compare the relative effectiveness of five sociogram drawing conventions in communicating underlying network substance, based on user task performance and usability preference, in order to examine effects of different spatial layout formats on human sociogram perception. We also explore the impact of edge crossings, a widely accepted readability aesthetic. Subjective data were gathered based on the methodology of Purchase et al.[14] Objective data were collected through an online system.

We found that both edge crossings and conventions pose significant affects on user preference and task performance of finding groups, but either has little impact on the perception of actor status. On the other hand, the node positioning and angular resolution might be more important in perceiving actor status. In visualizing social networks, it is important to note that the techniques that are highly preferred by users do not necessarily lead to best task performance.


User Preference Group Task Group Convention Collaboration Network Online System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weidong Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Seok-Hee Hong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter Eades
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.IMAGEN ProgramNational ICT Australia Ltd. 
  2. 2.School of Information TechnologiesUniversity of SydneyAustralia

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