Thursday, May 10, 2012

Designing Visual Notations in IT Practice

Daniel Moody, Director of OZemantics Pty LtdDaniel Moody, Director of OZemantics Pty Ltd, will speak on "The Physics of Notations: A Scientific Approach to Designing Visual Notations in IT Practice" at the Australian National University in Canberra, 4pm, 21 June 2012.

The Physics of Notations: A Scientific Approach to Designing Visual Notations in IT Practice

Daniel Moody (Director, OZemantics Pty Ltd, Sydney)


DATE: 2012-06-21
TIME: 16:00:00 - 17:00:00
LOCATION: Seminar Room (N101), CSIT Building (Building 108, North Road)

Visual notations are pervasively used in the IT field, and have dominated both research and practice since its earliest beginnings. They are used in all areas and all levels of practice, from IT strategic planning down to integrated circuit design. For example, UML, the industry standard language for modelling IT systems, consists of 13 related visual notations. Yet historically, researchers and notation designers have ignored or undervalued issues of visual representation. In evaluating and comparing notations, details of visual syntax are rarely mentioned. In designing notations, the majority of effort is spent defining notation semantics, with design of graphical conventions largely an afterthought.

This presentation describes a theory for visual notation design, called the Physics of Notations, as it focuses on the physical (syntactic) properties of notations rather than their logical (semantic) properties. It consists of two related theories: a descriptive (Type IV) theory, which defines how visual notations communicate, and a prescriptive (Type V) theory, which defines a set of principles for designing cognitively effective visual notations. The principles can be used to evaluate, compare, and improve existing visual notations as well as to construct new ones. The principles have been proposed as an international standard for designing visual notations across engineering disciplines, so could have implications beyond the IT field.

Daniel has held senior IT positions in some of Australia's largest corporations and has conducted consulting assignments in 12 different countries. He has also held academic positions at some of the world's leading universities and published over 100 scientific papers in the Information Management & IT field. He holds a PhD in Information Systems from Melbourne University.

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