Process and Principles
IT 7113 Data Visualization
This lecture notes discuss some chart design
• A simple three-step design process
• “CASE” - general design principles
• Tool selection
Why do we need a design process?
• A process consists of steps arranged in an
• A design process involves a defined set of
design considerations and tasks.
• A repeatable and defined design process will
– greatly facilitate the design efficiency and
– reduce the randomness and puts tasks in order
– serve as a guide and a checklist to plan and
manage the whole project
A Basic Chart Design Process
The following is a basic simple process for the most often scenario:
We need to visualize all data in a commonly
used chart type (or with limited alterations).
Steps summary (followed by details in later slides):
1. Choosing one chart type (general or industry specific) based on
a number of factors (mainly purposes and data features)
2. Representation: determining visual data coding, involving
visual mapping and visual properties (SCOPeS)
3. Presentation: apply perceptual and attention shaping best
practices (for example, pre-attentive processing and Gestalt
principles) to make charts more effective and efficient
There are other ways to define the design process or factors. For example:
A 5-step guide to data visualization https://www.elsevier.com/connect/a-5-step-guide-to-data-visualization
Andy Kirk’s 4 stages: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVkXbQOzKNs&t=754s or Andy Kirk’s book
This class will focus on
this kind of scenario.
Step 1: Chart Choice
Choosing the specific chart is also depends on
the following important considerations:
• What’s the purpose of the visualization?
What is the main insights?
• What kind of data? Need to know data types
• Is one chart enough? Are more charts
What’s the purpose of the visualization?
• Start with some general grand purposes (ne