Aesthetics in Data Visualization: Case Studies and Design Issues

Aesthetics in Data Visualization: Case Studies and Design Issues

Heekyoung Jung, Tanyoung Kim, Yang Yang, Luis Carli, Marco Carnesecchi, Antonio Rizzo, Cathal Gurrin
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4309-3.ch001
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Data visualization has been one of the major interests among interaction designers thanks to the recent advances of visualization authoring tools. Using such tools including programming languages with Graphics APIs, websites with chart topologies, and open source libraries and component models, interaction designers can more effectively create data visualization harnessing their prototyping skills and aesthetic sensibility. However, there still exist technical and methodological challenges for interaction designers in jumping into the scene. In this article, the authors introduce five case studies of data visualization that highlight different design aspects and issues of the visualization process. The authors also discuss the new roles of designers in this interdisciplinary field and the ways of utilizing, as well as enhancing, visualization tools for the better support of designers.
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Current Tools And Problems In Aesthetics Of Data Visualization

In recent years visualization scientists, mostly from computer science, have suggested many visualization-authoring tools with a hope of expanding the creators of visualizations and the contexts of their use. We suppose these tools are largely categorized into three kinds—1.) a standalone programming language and its Integrated Development Environment (IDE) such as Adobe Flash ActionScript (Adobe) and Processing (Processing 2), 2.) online or installation-required programs that provide visualizations of given chart topologies, such as ManyEyes (IBM) and Tableau Public(Tableau, 2013), and 3.) libraries, toolkits or component model architecture integrated with existing programming language, such as d3.js (Bostock, 2012) and gRaphaël.js(Baranovsky) for web documents.

These tools certainly open new spaces in which designers can apply visualization techniques with less effort and can exert their aesthetic expressions. However, throughout the entire process from data acquisition to visualization, there appear challenging aspects for the specific goal—the aesthetic and interactive qualities of visualization, and for the specific group of authors—interaction designers.

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