John Wiley & Sons Functional Aesthetics for Data Visualization Cover What happens when a researcher and a practitioner spend hours crammed in a Fiat discussing data visu.. Product #: 978-1-119-81008-7 Regular price: $35.42 $35.42 In Stock

Functional Aesthetics for Data Visualization

Setlur, Vidya / Cogley, Bridget


1. Edition August 2022
336 Pages, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-81008-7
John Wiley & Sons

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What happens when a researcher and a practitioner spend hours crammed in a Fiat discussing data visualization? Beyond creating beautiful charts, they found greater richness in the craft as an integrated whole.

Drawing from their unconventional backgrounds, these two women take readers through a journey around perception, semantics, and intent as the triad that influences visualization. This visually engaging book blends ideas from theory, academia, and practice to craft beautiful, yet meaningful visualizations and dashboards.

How do you take your visualization skills to the next level? The book is perfect for analysts, research and data scientists, journalists, and business professionals. Functional Aesthetics for Data Visualization is also an indispensable resource for just about anyone curious about seeing and understanding data. Think of it as a coffee book for the data geek in you.

Acknowledgments ix

About the Authors xi

About the Technical Editor xii

Foreword by Pat Hanrahan xiii

Introduction xv

Part A: Perception 1

Chapter 1: The Science Behind Perception 3

Seeing and Understanding Imagery 3

Color Cognition 6

Saccade and Directed Attention 10

The Notion of Space and Spatial Cognition 11

Diagramming the World 13

Summary 20

Chapter 2: Perception in Charts 21

Visualization and Task 23

Chart as an Informational Unit 24

Unboxing Functional Aesthetics in the Physical World 27

Recursive Proportions 28

The Digitized Space: Creating Experiences on the Screen 31

Summary 34

Chapter 3: Charts in Use 35

The First Charts 36

Standardizing Visualization 40

The Shifting Role of Data Visualization 43

Maturity within the Profession 49

Summary 56

Part B: Semantics 57

Chapter 4: Coming to Terms 59

Statistical Graphics Are Inherently Abstract 60

Flattening the Curve 63

Toward Meaningful Depictions 65

Situating with Semiotics 68

Summary 69

Chapter 5: Vagueness and Ambiguity 71

How Tall Is Tall? 71

Spicy or Hot--What's

the Difference? 76

Clarification, Repair, and Refinement 78

Iconicity of Representation 80

The Art of Chart 82

Summary 85

Chapter 6: Data Literacy 87

Navigating Data Literacy 89

The Impact of Writing 90

Data Orality 92

Changing Exposition Styles 96

Data Literacy Democratization 97

Summary 99

Chapter 7: Data Preparation 101

Hairy Dates 102

Common Transformations 103

Clarity in Conversation 107

Shaping for Intent 109

Prepping for the Future 110

Data Enrichment 113

Summary 115

Chapter 8: Scaling It Down 117

Generalization 118

Natural Sizes 119

Fat Fingers and Small Screens 120

Color as a Function of Size 123

Thumbnails and Visual Summaries 124

Summary 128

Chapter 9: Cohesive Data Messages 129

Cohesion in Designing Visualizations 131

Analytical Conversation 144

Summary 152

Chapter 10: Text and Charts 153

Medium Being the Message 154

Types of Text 155

Balancing Text with Charts 161

Chart and Text Agreement 163

Text in Analytical Conversation 166

Making Data More Accessible 168

Text for Supporting Reading Fluency 170

Summary 171

Part C: Intent 173

Chapter 11: Defining and Framing 175

Analytical Intent 176

Register 178

Repair and Refinement 179

Pragmatics 181

Practicing Intent 182

Summary 185

Chapter 12: Visual Communication 187

Do What I Mean, Not What I Say 189

Register in Charts 192

Registers in Composition 194

Mood and Metaphor 197

Beyond Language Communication 197

Expansion and Contraction 200

Summary 201

Chapter 13: Scaffolds 203

Visualization Scaffolding 206

Scaffolding Data Discovery 210

Scaffolding Natural Language Recommendations 213

Analytical Conversation to Repair and Refine 217

Summary 221

Chapter 14: Balancing Emphasis 223

Individual Choices 224

Collective Choices 225

Correcting Common Problems 228

View Snapping 232

Summary 238

Chapter 15: Mode 239

Navigate Like a Local 241

Revisiting Analytical Chatbots 247

Video Killed the Radio Star 249

Beyond the Desktop 251

Future Forward 255

Summary 257

Part D: Putting It All Together 259

Chapter 16: Bringing Everything Together 261

Addressing the Paper Towel Problem 263

Crafting Recipes for Functional Aesthetics 267

Summary 286

Chapter 17: Close 287

Data in Everything and Everywhere 288

New Tools and New Experiences 295

Sign-off 297

Technical Glossary 299

Index 305
"Straight away, you can tell this is a labour of love - the enthusiasm and validity with which the authors describe elements from the three elements of theory, academia and practice really shine through. With backgrounds covering all three of these areas, it makes for a complete publication, full of examples not just from practical situations as a practitioner, but from theory - focusing in particular on theory of presentation, psychology, conversation and cognition. All things which influence creation of functional and aesthetic dashboards, most of which, like me, you probably hadn't considered in requisite depth until now..."
--Neil Richards, four time Tableau Visionary and Director of Editorial for Viz For Social Good
VIDYA SETLUR, PhD, is the head of Tableau Research. She earned her doctorate in Computer Graphics in 2005 at Northwestern University. Her expertise is in natural language processing and computer graphics, and she seeks to develop new algorithms and user interfaces that enhance communication and understanding.

BRIDGET COGLEY is the Chief Visualization Officer at Versalytix and is a Tableau Hall of Fame Visionary. As an American Sign Language interpreter turned analyst, her practice incorporates semantics to draw meaning in her designs. She focuses on innovative use cases in data visualization.