From Delays to Densities: Exploring Data Uncertainty through Speech, Text, and Visualization

EuroVis 2024 (May 27 - 31), Odense, Denmark

Understanding and communicating data uncertainty is crucial for making informed decisions in sectors like finance and healthcare. Previous work has explored how to express uncertainty in various modes. For example, uncertainty can be expressed visually with quantile dot plots or linguistically with hedge words and prosody. Our research aims to systematically explore how variations within each mode contribute to communicating uncertainty to the user; this allows us to better understand each mode’s affordances and limitations. We completed an exploration of the uncertainty design space based on pilot studies and ran two crowdsourced experiments examining how speech, text, and visualization modes and variants within them impact decision-making with uncertain data. Visualization and text were most effective for rational decision-making, though text resulted in lower confidence. Speech garnered the highest trust despite sometimes leading to risky decisions. Results from these studies indicate meaningful trade-offs among modes of information and encourage exploration of multimodal data representations.


Chase Stokes, Chelsea Sanker, Bridget Cogley, Vidya Setlur


Vidya Setlur