Innovations in Visualization

MyBrush: Brushing and Linking with Personal Agency

Philipp Koytek
Charles Perin
Jo Vermeulen
Elisabeth Andre
Sheelagh Carpendale


We extend the popular brushing and linking technique by incorporating personal agency in the interaction. We map existing research related to brushing and linking into a design space that deconstructs the interaction technique into three components: source (what is being brushed), link (the expression of relationship between source and target), and target (what is revealed as related to the source). Using this design space, we created MyBrush, a unified interface that offers personal agency over brushing and linking by giving people the flexibility to configure the source, link, and target of multiple brushes. The results of three focus groups demonstrate that people with different backgrounds leveraged personal agency in different ways, including performing complex tasks and showing links explicitly. We reflect on these results, paving the way for future research on the role of personal agency in information visualization.


mybrush1 full-example-3-old mybrush2

Supplemental materials available here


Koytek, Philipp, Perin, Charles, Vermeulen, Jo, Andr{\'e}, Elisabeth and Carpendale, Sheelagh. MyBrush: Brushing and Linking with Personal Agency. IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics, 24(1):605-615. IEEE, 2017. PDF Paper