From Theory to Practice: Design, Vision and Visualization



Thanks to all that contributed, and also to our auditors. We feel it was a good beginning, and hope to refine towards an even better workshop next year.

Presenters: If you have slides you would like me to post on this site, please email them. If you want to share with IEEE, please be sure to get them a copyright form.

The DVV Wiki is up. Presenters should have received a login from Lyn. Contact her if you did not.

Slides are starting to come in. Check below for links.

Workshop Format

We have nine participants for our workshop, including two of the organizers. We are planning the following structure:

  • A lightning round of 2 minutes per participant to introduce their topic.
  • Discussion of common questions and issues to be addressed. For example:
    • What is your problem and who is your community?
    • What key design concepts and practices influenced your approach?
    • Where do you go from here?
  • First set of participants spend 10 minutes each presenting their design, followed by general discussion of about 20 minutes.
  • Break
  • Second set of presentations and discussion.
  • General discussion, summary and wrap-up.

Auditors are welcome to come and participate in the discussions. If you are planning to audit, it would be useful (though not essential) if you let us know you were coming.

Final Participants (see the Images, see Diane's comments )

Applying Design & Color Theory to creating a Perfect Storm Visualization (slides)
Theresa-Marie Rhyne
Renaissance Computing Institute’s Engagement Center
North Carolina State University

Redesigning Parallel Sets
Robert Kosara
Department of Computer Science
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

A Visualization Tool For Student Assessments Data
Ilknur Icke and Elizabeth Sklar
Dept. of Computer Science, Graduate Center
and Dept. of Computer and Information Science, Brooklyn College
City University of New York, New York, NY

Rethinking the Funnel Chart
John Peter (JP) Lee, ScD
AstraZeneca R&D Boston, MA

The Development of the Horizon Graph
Hannes Reijner
Panopticon Software

Chart Tamer: Excel Graphs Done Right (slides)
Stephen Few
Perceptual Edge, Berkeley, CA

Chart Tamer: Color Design by Function (slides)
Maureen Stone
StoneSoup Consulting, Woodinville, WA

Designing Transparent Overlays (slides)
Lyn Bartram
Simon Fraser University School of Interactive Art and Technology
Surrey, BC, Canada

Tableau Symbol Maps
Jock Mackinlay and Chris Stolte
Tableau Software
Seattle, WA

Scope and Objectives

The goal of this workshop is to begin to distill those synergies at the intersection of design, vision and visualization that can be clearly taught and applied. Many participants in the Vis week community appreciate that vision and design theory are relevant to the design of interactive visualization. Moving from theory to practice, however, is much more challenging.

We propose to work bottom-up by bringing together individuals with practical experience working across these boundaries, either within their own work, or within collaborations.  By focusing on specific examples of problems and solutions, we hope to find common themes and concepts that can be further exploited and explored.

This will be a small, focused workshop with two goals:

  1. Preparing the ground for a special issue (probably for Information Visualization)
  2. Developing a short course on what is known and pragmatically feasible for Vis 2009, or for other educational resources.

Submission and Contact Information

All workshop materials will be posted on this website.

Queries and requests to audit should be sent to our gmail address: dvvWorkshop. If you do not receive a response within 2 days, please contact Lyn Bartram directly at lyn at


Lyn Bartram is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interactive Art and Technology at Simon Fraser University, a school with the mandate of bringing design, art, science and computing together in technology used by humans. Her background is in applied perception and visualization, and she is particularly interested in understanding why and how certain design and art principles create such effective visualizations and how these might be computationally leveraged in highly dynamic visualization environments.

Maureen Stone is an independent consultant working in the areas of digital color, information presentation, interaction and systems. Before founding StoneSoup Consulting, she spent 20 years at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center where she attained the position of Principal Scientist. She has a long-standing interest in the use of color in illustration and design, especially interactive tools and systems to support color design and reproduction for both displays and print.  As a consultant, she has worked on commercial systems for data visualization and analysis, designing both the color encodings and their user-interface. Her book, A Field Guide to Digital Color, was published by A.K. Peters in 2003, and presents digital color from perception to design.  She is an adjunct professor in the School of Interactive Art and Technology at SFU.

Diane Gromala is an artist, designer, visual technology innovator, and Professor in the School of Interactive Art and Technology at SFU. Her work has been at the forefront of emerging forms of technology, from the earliest form of multimedia (HyperCard, at Apple Computer) to one of the very first instances of Virtual Reality art at the Banff Centre in 1991. Gromala’s art has been performed and exhibited in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and New Zealand. It has also been featured on the Discovery Channel, CNN, the BBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, to name a few. Along with collaborator Lily Shirvanee, Gromala was a semi-finalist for Discover magazine's Award for Technological Innovation in 2001. Gromala's design work has received numerous awards from organizations ranging from the AIGA to the American Institute of Architects.