REpresentational EPistemic Interface Design (REEP-ID) advocates exploiting the abstract structure of a target domain as the
foundation for building cohesive diagrammatic representations. Previous research explored the application of this approach
to the display and optimisation of solutions to complex, data rich, real world problems with promising results. This paper
demonstrates the application ... [Show full abstract] of these principles to generate interactive visualisations for solving complex combinatorial
optimisation problems, in this case the University Exam Timetabling Problem (ETP). Using the ETP as an example the principles
of REEP-ID are applied, illustrating the design process and advantages of this methodology. This led to the implementation
of the VAST (Visual Analysis and Scheduling for Timetables) application, enabling individuals to solve complete instances
of the ETP using interactive visualisations. Rather than using automated heuristics or algorithms, VAST relies entirely on
the user’s problem solving abilities, applying their knowledge and perceptiveness to the interactive visualisations maintained
by the computer. Results from an evaluation of VAST support the use of the REEP-ID methodology and the case for further research.
In the closing discussion these findings are summarised together with implications for future designers.