M. Amin Kuhail (Mohammad Amin Kuhail) is an Assistant Teaching Professor in at the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (CSEE) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). He is the chair of the Bachelor of Information Technology Degree Committee Program (BIT DPC). His research focuses on smart city, data science, end-user development, algorithms, and usability.
This project explores several research topics.
Existing approaches to visualization are one of the two: accessible to savvy designers but limited in customizability, or inaccessible and expressive. For instance, chart tools are easy to use, but support only predefined visualizations, while visualization tools support custom visualizations, but require program-like specifications. Uvis is a visualization system that targets savvy designers. With Uvis, designers drag and drop visual objects, set the visual object properties with formulas, and see the result immediately. The formulas are declarative and similar to spreadsheet formulas. The formulas compute the property values and can refer to fields, visual properties, functions, etc. This research hypothesizes that it is possible to express custom visualizations with spreadsheet-like formulas, and savvy designers can learn to refine the visualizations. The research presents four contributions: The first is the expressive power of formulas, substantiated with a collection of custom visualizations. The second contribution is iteratively refining Uvis based on feedback from savvy designers. Uvis provides novel cognitive aids that assist the designers in creating and refining custom visualizations. The third contribution is a usability evaluation of Uvis with savvy designers. The fourth contribution is a usability analysis of several visualization tools including Uvis. The analysis highlights the differences between approaches and argues why Uvis is more suited for custom visualizations.