Worksheets for Guiding Novices through the Visualization Design Process

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For visualization pedagogy, an important but challenging notion to teach is design, from making to evaluating visualization encodings, user interactions, or data visualization systems. In our previous work, we introduced the design activity framework to codify the high-level activities of the visualization design process. This framework has helped structure experts' design processes to create visualization systems, but the framework's four activities lack a breakdown into steps with a concrete example to help novices utilizing this framework in their own real-world design process. To provide students with such concrete guidelines, we created worksheets for each design activity: understand, ideate, make, and deploy. Each worksheet presents a high-level summary of the activity with actionable, guided steps for a novice designer to follow. We validated the use of this framework and the worksheets in a graduate-level visualization course taught at our university. For this evaluation, we surveyed the class and conducted 13 student interviews to garner qualitative, open-ended feedback and suggestions on the worksheets. We conclude this work with a discussion and highlight various areas for future work on improving visualization design pedagogy.



  title = {Worksheets for Guiding Novices through the Visualization Design Process},
  author = {Sean McKenna and Alexander Lex and Miriah Meyer},
  booktitle = {IEEE Workshop on Pedagogy of Data Visualization (PDV '17)},
  publisher = {IEEE},
  year = {2017}