An Exploratory Study of Word-Scale Graphics in Data-Rich Text Documents

Abstract

We contribute an investigation of the design and function of word-scale graphics and visualizations embedded in text documents. Word-scale graphics include both data-driven representations such as word-scale visualizations and sparklines, and non-data-driven visual marks. Their design, function, and use has so far received little research attention. We present the results of an open ended exploratory study with 9 graphic designers. The study resulted in a rich collection of different types of graphics, data provenance, and relationships between text, graphics, and data. Based on this corpus, we present a systematic overview of word-scale graphic designs, and examine how designers used them. We also discuss the designers’ goals in creating their graphics, and characterize how they used word-scale graphics to visualize data, add emphasis, and create alternative narratives. Building on these examples, we discuss implications for the design of authoring tools for word-scale graphics and visualizations, and explore how new authoring environments could make it easier for designers to integrate them into documents.

Citation

Pascal Goffin, Jermey Boy, Wesley Willett, Petra Isenberg
An Exploratory Study of Word-Scale Graphics in Data-Rich Text Documents
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 23(10): 2275-2287, doi:10.1109/TVCG.2016.2618797, 2017.

BibTeX

@article{2017_tvcg_exploratoyr-wsg,
  title = {An Exploratory Study of Word-Scale Graphics in Data-Rich Text Documents},
  author = {Pascal Goffin and Jermey Boy and Wesley Willett and Petra Isenberg},
  journal = {IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics},
  doi = {10.1109/TVCG.2016.2618797},
  volume = {23},
  number = {10},
  pages = {2275-2287},
  month = {Oct},
  year = {2017}
}
exploratory-wsg screenshot

Resources