Information Visualization for the People

Information VisualizationThe design of information visualization, defined as the interactive, graphical presentation of data, is on the verge of a significant paradigm shift brought on by the continued maturation of the Information Age. Its traditional role as a scientific tool deployed by rigorous data analysts is in the process of expanding to include more mainstream uses and users, reflecting fundamental changes to the role of information and data in our increasingly digital society. However, visualization design theory remains rooted in earlier conceptions of its use, largely ignoring the needs of this new, non-expert audience. Accordingly, this thesis attempts to re-contextualize information visualization as a public-facing practice, and explores ways in which its design can shift from being described as “by experts, for experts” to a new characterization as “for the people.”

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