Trajectory bundling for animated transitions
Animated transition has been a popular design choice for smoothly switching between different visualization views or layouts, in which movement trajectories are created as cues for tracking objects during location shifting. Tracking moving objects, however, becomes difficult when their movement paths overlap or the number of tracking targets increases. We propose a novel design to facilitate tracking moving objects in animated transitions. Instead of simply animating an object along a straight line, we create "bundled" movement trajectories for a group of objects that have spatial proximity and share similar moving directions. To study the effect of bundled trajectories, we untangle variations due to different aspects of tracking complexity in a comprehensive controlled user study. The results indicate that using bundled trajectories is particularly effective when tracking more targets (six vs. three targets) or when the object movement involves a high degree of occlusion or deformation. Based on the study, we discuss the advantages and limitations of the new technique, as well as provide design implications.