Casual Information Visualization-Based Major Consulting System Design
The purpose of this research is to identify an effective and useful way for my audience to see, understand, and access big data via visual aids, a process called Information Visualization. Information Visualization is a method to transfer raw data into visual information. My target users are high school students and their parents. Since this audience often lacks efficient information on college options and opportunities, a tool that assists students with choosing an ideal college major may help them with this process. There are many aspects that new college students and their parents must consider when making a decision, for example salary upon graduation or the job market of a given field. Currently, existing information on these topics is unwieldy due to inconsistency and difficulty with navigation. Thus, this thesis presents a design system that combines abundant information with an interactive interface and acts as a user-friendly tool for researching college majors. The first phase of the project consists of a literature review on how students choose their college majors and the existing information visualization methods review. In the second phase, I evaluate the existing online interactive interfaces that help students to decide on a major. In the third phase, I explain the process of my design as well as the prototype. The final phase involves the user study and evaluation. I use notes to record user interviews and collect data through a heuristic evaluation. This research focus on the following questions: Is my information visualization navigable and informative for students? Does the final design solve their major related problems? By identifying how they react to my questions and design, I examine the success of my design and the potential for improvement in future iterations.
Chen, Purdue University.
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