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Preset-based generation and exploration of visualization designs

: Schulz, Hans-Jörg; Hadlak, Steffen


Journal of visual languages and computing 31 (2015), Pt.A, pp.9-29
ISSN: 1045-926X
ISSN: 1095-8533
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IGD ()
Fraunhofer IGD-R ()
information visualization; visual design; graphical depiction hierarchical structures

Generating the "right" visual representation for the data and task at hand remains a standing challenge in visualization research and practice. A variety of different approaches to produce visual representations have been proposed in the past, including such noteworthy instances as visualization by example and visualization by analogy. With this paper, we add a new twist to creating visual representations by proposing away to construct new visualization designs by blending together a number of existing visual representations, called presets. We embed this novel blending approach in suitable visual interfaces, such as a gridded canvas to be used by the casual user in the style of a palette for mixing colors, or a range of sliders to be used by the expert user in the style of a studio mixer for audio tracks. These can be employed for rapid prototyping of a specific visual representation, as well as to explore the overall design space of visual representations captured by our approach. We showcase our preset-based blending and its interfaces with examples of the design of 2D tree visualizations and product plots.