Empirical Testing of Bends in Workflow Diagrams by Eye-Tracking Method

  • Zdena DobesovaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 575)


Workflow diagrams consist of nodes and connectors to express the steps of processing in the form of a visual program. The graphical vocabulary and the layout of the diagram have an influence on the user cognition of diagram. The aesthetic aspects also have an impact on users understanding. One aesthetic recommendation – “minimize beds in edge” was tested in workflow diagrams from ArcGIS ModelBuilder. Eye-tracking measuring in the laboratory was prepared for objective empirical testing. Five couples of diagrams with and without orthogonally bends were showed to 26 respondents. The user executed specific tasks above diagrams. Eye-tracking measuring brought interesting objective results. Eye-tracking metrics affirm that diagrams with orthogonal bends on connector lines have an average higher number of fixations, longer length of scanpath, shorter average time of fixation and longer duration time. The result is that the using of straight lines brings effective cognition of workflow diagrams in case of spatial data processing in geographic information system (GIS).


Workflow Human-Computer Interaction Visual programming language Eye-tracking Aesthetic Cognition Geographic information system 



This article has been created with the support of the Operational Program Education for Competitiveness – European Social Fund (project CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0170 Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic).


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geoinformatics, Faculty of SciencePalacký UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic

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