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Studying how humans interact with abstract, visual representations of massive amounts of data provides knowledge about how cognition works in visual analytics. This knowledge provides guidelines for cognitive-aware design and evaluation of visual analytic tools. Different methods have been used to capture and conceptualize these processes including protocol analysis, experiments, cognitive task analysis, and field studies. In this article, we introduce Pair Analytics: a method for capturing reasoning processes in visual analytics. We claim that Pair Analytics offers two advantages with respect to other methods: (1) a more natural way of making explicit and capturing reasoning processes and (2) an approach to capture social and cognitive processes used to conduct collaborative analysis in real-life settings. We support and illustrate these claims with a pilot study of three phenomena in collaborative visual analytics: coordination of attention, cognitive workload, and navigation of analysis.
Date of Conference: 4-7 Jan. 2011