Demonstrating data using storyboard visualization tool

Gerry Derksen, Stanley Ruecker, Tim Causer, Melissa Terras

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


With the growing importance of big data, and perhaps more significantly, the application of big data to the quantified self, it is more useful than ever for designers to be conversant with the wide range of measurements that can be obtained from various forms of instrumentation. When chairs can record and communicate details about sitting, sidewalks make suggestions about walking, and shavers monitor diet, interesting opportunities will arise for designers to generate new affordances based on the data. However, for many designers, the process of understanding the numbers available in the spreadsheets and databases may prove prohibitive, unless new methods are developed for showing relevance while not losing track of the underlying information. In this presentation, I propose a new genre of "data stories," where the goal is to create narratives that are anchored in big data, but provide a form of shared experience that can be used to both shape design ideas and communicate their potential significance. More generally, Data Stories might take the form of shared narratives, concept maps, conversational models, or corporate missions that have the best chance to be adopted by listeners of stories if they have data anchoring points of fact. Data Stories are important because they can help to provide context for information and thereby create a shared framework for understanding. They can also help to make information compelling and memorable. In addition, they provide a starting point for others to contribute, modify, and personalize. From the designer's perspective, they are a way to establish authority, show practical approaches that are anchored in the data, and clarify details in memorable descriptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVINCI 2013 - 6th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction
Place of PublicationTianjin
Number of pages1
StatePublished - Sep 16 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction, VINCI 2013 - Tianjin, China
Duration: Aug 17 2013Aug 18 2013

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Other6th International Symposium on Visual Information Communication and Interaction, VINCI 2013


  • BigData
  • latent dirichlet allocation
  • narrative
  • storyboard

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Software


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