So, I started with this really large vague idea of Information Visualization Evaluation and Critique. After finding well over 70 resources concerning everything from knowledge representation, scientific visualization, visual analytics, computer science, hci, and info vis itself, I finally curated my collection down to about 30 useful resources. But now it seems my direction is changing. I’ve found about 15-20 papers about Information Visualization Evaluation, and most with a very technical approach. Some integrate semiotics into the picture but not very effectively in my opinion. Others provide a taxonomy for visualizations based on data type or task type (shneiderman). A couple approach evaluation in terms of storytelling. Very few deal with interactive infovis, and I think it makes sense to focus on that particular aspect of info vis instead the medium at large. So, I’m grappling with a few things:

Do I attempt to break down the elements of interactive visualizations, then describe how these are used effectively and non-effectively in the form of a critique? Would this be a good direction to go? Is it doable? Should I scope it down to a specific set of interactive info vis like network graphs, news visualizations, experimental visualizations?
OR
Do I provide examples and critique the use of storytelling and reader engagement? It’s been studied that engagement assists in the sense-making and insights gained from info vis. I have examples of where this has been done successfully in interactive ones (my opinion for now) and I’m sure I could dig up some where they were less successful (again in my opinion based on criteria that exists in my head for now).
Would the latter direction be more feasible? I’m definitely approaching this from an artifact perspective as I think tackling the questions of ‘how to create a readable info viz?’ and ‘how does info viz meanings change across cultures?’ (just examples) would take quite a bit more research and perhaps user evaluations/research which I think is outside of the scope of the timeline albeit very interesting and something to pursue in the future.  It actually seems like both are feasible,  it just might depend on which one I actually want to go with. Both will require defining a significant amount of aspects to Interactive IV, relating it to critical theory, then providing examples and critiques. Storytelling with data has a lot more examples, research, and data out there, so it might be a better contribution to define the elements and properties of interactive visualizations. I suppose that would involve my creating some kind of framework/model for interactive visualizations.
Oh boy. Any feedback will be appreciated 🙂
Advertisements