Cognitive Discourse Analysis for cognitively supportive visualizations

Thora Tenbrink, Bangor University, UK

How do we know what people perceive in a diagram, picture, or dynamic visual interface? What users take from a visualisation may not be the same as what designers intended by it. Cognitive Discourse Analysis is a methodology that helps identifying the perceivers’ thoughts. Users are asked to speak out lout what they’re thinking; their language is transcribed, and analysed in depth. Besides the (sometimes quite revealing) content of what people are saying, the features of their language (how they say it) point to underlying conceptualisations and aspects that the speakers themselves are not necessarily aware of: their focus of attention, things taken for granted or perceived as new, levels of granularity, conceptual perspective, and so on.