Information Graphics and Eye Movements. Tracking reader's interaction with a multimodal documente genre

Project: Research

Project Details

Layman's description

Infographics is a multimodal genre that is used to explain difficult theories, discoveries, to describe steps in a process, development over time, effects and consequences of an action. To understand the graphics, the reader must connect text and images. The question is whether the reader prefers multiple entry points to find his or her own way, or if the reader instead prefers to be guided.

Information Graphics is a multimodal genre used in brochures, magazines, textbooks and scientific articles. It is often embedded in an editorial text and consists of a combination of written text (keywords, phrases, whole sentences), images (abstract or naturalistic) and graphics (arrows, enhancement techniques and the like). Information graphics explains the structure and function of objects, steps in a process, and cause and effect of actions and events. Information graphics are read carefully, because readers expect to get complex issues explained.

But it is not obvious how to deal with information graphics, where to begin reading and which reading paths to choose in order to create meaning of the multimodal message. Among other things, it is difficult for readers to integrate the graphical and the textual part of the message if it is not clear how they are semantically connected, and to quickly understand graphics with a complicated structure. From a cognitive and communicative point of view, an appropriate text design can control and guide the user behaviour, affect reading flow, improve understanding and support learning.
Effective start/end date2006/01/012006/12/31