From Explanation to Demonstration: A Conceptual Framework for the Study and Strategic Design of Interactive Visualizations

  • Author / Creator
    Windsor, Jennifer J
  • Interactive visualization is a burgeoning class of cognitive and communicative tools that is challenging to define. Typically, interactive visualizations have been evaluated by the multimodal features they are comprised of, or for the communicative tasks they support, but this contributes little to understanding them as semiotic systems. This thesis offers a conceptual framework with which to further study existing interactive visualizations or to consider during the design phase. By examining the constituent elements of images (static and dynamic) and language, we can see how the relationship between them influences the expression of causality, and consequently narrativity, in information graphics. The added capacity for interaction allows graphics to accept and respond to input from users. However, there is an inherent tension between narrativity and interactivity, and these can be considered end points of an inversely proportional scale. The outcome of the tension is a means of defining the perspective of an interactive—greater degrees of narrativity suggests an author-driven perspective, creating an interactive object that tends towards explaining data, whereas greater degrees of interactivity suggests a user-driven perspective as users explore data, drawing their own conclusions.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.