InContext is the culmination of research, design, and assessment spanning two semesters. Four graduate Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) students from Carnegie Mellon University, in partnership with Universityof Madeira, formed a team to carry out an end-to-end HCI final project.
Team Promethean's client was Logica, a global technical consulting firm, which assigned them to investigate the domain of power management and control at Portugal's energy utility, EDP.
The purpose of this project is to show operators relevant information at the time it is most useful, to contextualize disparate data into coherent structures that can be used to solve problems, and transform text-based information into dynamic information visualizations. Improving the kind and quality of data make the overwhelming amount of data at the nation’s energy distributor more useful and customizable to the needs of operators instead of being restricted by rigid software.
We structured InContext around 3 basic interactions: dashboard, grid view and map view. Both the grid and map views offer details about clusters on the dashboard. Users navigate to detailed views by clicking on a cluster. By default when they select a grid-based cluster (circles), they are taken to the grid view, and when a user clicks a geo-based cluster (triangles) they are taken to the map view. Users can then switch between these views at any time without going back to the dashboard.
In all three interaction spaces we included a timeline allowing users to scroll through time and see how events unfold. Although the timeline only allows for past navigation, the system is highly malleable and can be developed to predict how and when events are likely occur. This can be done by profiling patterns in past data and extracting predictive functions for events with similar patterns.