Software Campus: Haptic User Interfaces for Complex Visualizations (VibrAid)

June 1st, 2017  |  Published in Research

When visualizing big data streams, overwhelming the user with a large amount of information can quickly become an issue. This psychological phenomenon is called Information Overload and is usually caused by badly designed user interfaces, especially when too much information is shown on the screen at the same time. The key for overcoming these problems is showing just the right amount of information by removing parts that are redundant, choosing a different structure or summarizing data using dashboards.
When transmitting data from the screen to the user using visual representations, these approaches try to maximize the delivered data. These approaches were previously shown to be effective but certain limitations exist as a consequence of the limited human information reception capabilities.

This bottleneck of visual data reception can be avoided by utilizing other information channels, such as auditory or haptic (sense of touch) signals.

This project aims to design and study the efficiency of a system that uses haptic pulses to increase the performance of workflows when working with regular dashboard systems. The system will be developed in close collaboration with SoftwareAG, using their business dashboard system “MashZone NextGen” to recreate a realistic use case. The system will use small vibration pulses to draw the users attention to parts of the screen where immediate attention or the next action of the workflow is required. Finally, we will evaluate whether or not such a system can be beneficial in a regular work environment in a user study.


01.05.2017 — 31.12.2017


Software AG

Research Topics

Tactile Display; Haptic Interaction; Wearable Computing; Vibrotactile Sensitivity;


Vincent Diener (Project Manager, email:

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