Using interactive design galleries, designers can now explore, analyze, and extend large parametric design spaces, working in parallel rather than one state at a time. One standard, high-dimensional interface for this type of exploration is Parallel Coordinates Plots (PCP). However, PCP developed to date do not enable interactions that support advanced filtering and query in the design space. Without such enhanced query support, design decision-making and innovation support are limited. This thesis presents new interactions accompanied by considerations that aim to enable the designer to filter the design space with a visual implementation of Boolean logic queries over parallel coordinate plots in a multi-state interactive design galley. Key benefits of D.Query are that designers can create and progressively iterate complex Boolean queries and see automatically updated results in real-time. Results from a preliminary think-aloud study with six experts indicated positive responses to the visualization design and identified areas for improvement, including the need to make the visualization of each query more easily understandable, apply queries to multiple collections and develop recording features. Through the evaluation, we also collected anecdotal evidence from the target audience of the usefulness of D.Query in multi-state design space query and filtering. The following steps include refinement and a formal usability study. This approach may generalize to other filtering tasks involving multi-objective search on large datasets with numerical and categorical data.
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Thesis advisor: Woodbury, Robert
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