Proceedings: GI 2016

A Field Study of On-Calendar Visualizations

Dandan Huang (University of Victoria), Melanie Tory (Tableau Software), Lyn Bartram (Simon Fraser University)

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2016: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 1-3 June 2016, 13-20

DOI 10.20380/GI2016.03

  • Bibtex

    author = {Huang, Dandan and Tory, Melanie and Bartram, Lyn},
    title = {A Field Study of On-Calendar Visualizations},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2016},
    series = {GI 2016},
    year = {2016},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-0-9947868-1-4},
    location = {Victoria, British Columbia, Canada},
    pages = {13--20},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2016.03},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society / Soci{\'e}t{\'e} canadienne du dialogue humain-machine},
    keywords = {Personal visualization, feedback design, physical activities, field study, digital calendar},


Feedback tools help people to monitor information about themselves to improve their health, sustainability practices, or personal well-being. Yet reasoning about personal data (e.g., pedometer counts, blood pressure readings, or home electricity consumption) to gain a deep understanding of your current practices and how to change can be challenging with the data alone. We integrate quantitative feedback data within a personal digital calendar; this approach aims to make the feedback data readily accessible and more comprehensible. We report on an eight-week field study of an on-calendar visualization tool. Results showed that a personal calendar can provide rich context for people to reason about their feedback data. The on-calendar visualization enabled people to quickly identify and reason about regular patterns and anomalies. Based on our results, we also derived a model of the behavior feedback process that extends existing technology adoption models. With that, we reflected on potential barriers for the ongoing use of feedback tools.