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VISupply: A Supply-Chain Process Model for Visualization Guidelines

Visualization is widely accepted as an effective medium to communicate complex data to a human observer. To do this effectively, visualizations have to be carefully designed to achieve a certain intent. Visualization guidelines are proposed by the academic research community and practitioners to facilitate effective visualization design. A few guidelines have been received a fair amount of attention, and effort has been made to study, discuss, validate, falsify, adopt, adapt, or extend them. However, many guidelines have not received adequate exposure or have not had the opportunities to undergone a similar level of scrutiny. When some of these guidelines managed to emerge or resurface, it is often not clear about their scientific rationale and the state of play in their validation.

In this project, we juxtapose the development and consumption of visualization guidelines with that of consumer products. We outline a conceptual model for a Visualization Guidelines Supply Chain, VISupply. It describes an idealized loop of actions for formulating, curating, using, and improving guidelines systematically. By enabling an ecosystem for visualization guidelines, the community can collectively optimize these guidelines and adopt them with confidence in a given context. We examine the current and potential roles of different stakeholders in this ecosystem.


Dr. Ulrich Engelke, Decision Sciences, CSIRO Data61
Dr. Alfie Abdul Rahman, King’s College London, UK
Prof. Min Chen, University of Oxford, UK


2018 – 2018