Creation, Curation, Critique and Conditioning of Principles and Guidelines in Visualization

(In conjunction with IEEE VIS 2016, Oct 23th, Baltimore, MD)


The recent ATI (Alan Turing Institute) Symposium on Theoretical Foundation of Visual Analytics identified four aspects of research activities that may contribute directly to the development of a theoretical foundation for Visualization and Visual Analytics. These include taxonomies, principles and guidelines, conceptual frameworks and models, and quantitative laws. For principles and guidelines in visualization and visual analytics, the meeting identified a number of challenges, including:

  • the lack of a centralized place for easy discovery of known or proposed principles and guidelines
  • the lack of documentation about when and where a principle or guideline is applicable and when and where it is not, as well as examples for attesting either conditions
  • the lack of platforms (except formal publications) for supporting the evolution and improvement of principles and guidelines, and fostering early proposal of principles and guidelines

Have you contributed or are contributing to the development of Guidelines in Visualization?

Then we would like to hear your views in our Workshop!


The primary goals of this workshop are:

  • to present guidelines and principles challenges to the Visualization and Visual Analytics community
  • to encourage the discussions of principles and guidelines in an open, democratic, and evidence-based manner
  • to facilitate the creation, curation (including examples of their uses and misuses), critique (including revision and improvement) and conditioning (i.e., education, training and deployment) of Principles and Guidelines in Visualization
  • to stimulate novel approaches and community effort for supporting and systemizing the Creation, Curation, Critique and Conditioning activities through a cost-effective and sustainable mechanism

Example Titles of Submissions (for illustration only):

  • How to use a visual channel that has not been thoroughly studied by Bertin and others?
  • Guidelines on using a perceptually-uniform color space
  • When should one maximize the perceptual difference between glyphs?
  • When should one use curved connections in parallel coordinates?
  • Is non-linear axis good or bad?
  • Five ways to persuade an application user not to use the Rainbow colormap
  • Which machine-learning technique to use in visual analytics?
  • How much interaction is too much in web-based visualization for the masses?
  • Developing an online server for guidelines in visualization
  • From cluttering avoidance to clustering quantification and minimization

Objectives and Focus.


The objectives of this workshop are:               
(i) to support a friendly and open critique of the state of the art of principles and guidelines in Visualization,
(ii) to provide a venue were novel, still in progress, guidelines and principles can be proposed,
(iii) to help define a coherent framework to support existing efforts for the development, validation and conditioning of principles and guidelines,
(iv) to encourage and stimulate new effort towards the development of frameworks for creation and curation of principles and guidelines in Visualization.


The focus of this workshop is placed on a specific yet fundamental aspect which underlines any kind of visualization. While there are established principles and guildeines for other aspects of the visualisation pipeline such as statistics and algorithms (including machine-learned algorithms), and emerging theories for information theory and interaction, there is not yet a unified theoretical foundation or framework for underpinning all four components of creation, curation, critique and conditioning of design guidelines and principles.