Affective colormap design for accurate visual comprehension in industrial tomography
Journal article, 2021

The design of colormaps can help tomography operators obtain accurate visual compre-hension, thereby assisting safety-critical decisions. The research presented here is about deploying colormaps that promote the best affective responses for industrial microwave tomography (MWT). To answer the two research questions related to our study, we firstly conducted a quantitative analysis of 11 frequently-used colormaps on a segmentation task. Secondly, we presented the same colormaps within a crowdsourced study comprising two parts to verify the quantitative outcomes. The first part encoded affective responses from participants into a prevailing four-quadrant valence–arousal grid; the second part recorded participant ratings towards the accuracy of each colormap on MWT segmentation. We concluded that three colormaps are the best suited in the context of MWT tasks. We also found that the colormaps triggering emotions in the positive–exciting quadrant can facilitate more accurate visual comprehension than other affect-related quadrants. A synthetic colormap design guideline was consequently proposed.

Human perception

Crowdsourced study


Affective colormap design

Microwave tomography


Yuchong Zhang

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Interaction design

Morten Fjeld

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Interaction design

Marco Fratarcangeli

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Interaction design

Alan Said

University of Gothenburg

S. D. Zhao

National University of Singapore (NUS)


1424-8220 (ISSN) 1424-3210 (eISSN)

Vol. 21 14 4766

Subject Categories


Interaction Technologies

Human Computer Interaction





More information

Latest update