Human Factors in the Design and Evaluation of Bioinformatics Tools

Conference Paper
AlAgeel, Naelah . 2015
Conference Name: 
6th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2015)
Conference Date: 
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Publication Abstract: 

Human factors contribute significantly to the information visualization design considerations and usability evaluation process, and have been shown to play an important role in the design, development and quality assurance of bioinformatics tools. Despite the technological advances in bioinformatics computational methods, humans are an indispensable part of the data mining and decision making process. The complexity of biology data visualization can make perception and analysis a complex cognitive activity for professionals in the bioinformatics domain. Information Visualization (InfoVis) can provide valuable assistance for data analysis in bioinformatics by visually depicting sequences, genomes, alignments, and macromolecular structures. InfoVis coupled with interaction modalities of bioinformatics tools also impact the efficiency and effectiveness of decision-making tasks in applied bioinformatics computing. However, the way people perceive and interact with bioinformatics tools can strongly influence their understanding of the complex data as well as the perceived usability and accessibility of these systems. In this paper, we present a synthesis of research studies and initiatives that have recently examined human factors in interaction and visualization for bioinformatics tools, particularly in perception-based design. Although bioinformatics’ visualization and interaction design research that involves human factors is considered in its infancy, a plethora of potentially promising areas have yet to be explored. The aims of this paper are to review current human factors research in interaction, usability and visualization within bioinformatics tools to provide a basis for future investigations in systems and software engineering of bioinformatics tools, and to identify promising areas for future research directions in interaction design of bioinformatics tools.