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HCIL-2015-15

Zhao, Z., Marr, R., Elmqvist, N. (October 15)
Data Comics: Sequential Art for Data-Driven Storytelling
HCIL-2015-15

We present Data Comics, a novel method for storytelling using sequential art---also known as comics---constructed from data-driven visualizations. This allows for building narratives using comic layouts of panels containing both snapshots and live visualizations. Each panel in a comic layout can be decorated with visual comic symbols---such as captions, speech and thought bubbles, directional arrows, and motion lines---to augment the narrative. To validate our method, we implemented a web-based Data Comics application that consists of (1) a Clipper for capturing data-driven content from the web, (2) a Decorator for creating panels and adding comic symbols, (3) a Composer for arranging clips into comic strips, and (4) a Presenter for viewing a finished comic. We compared the method to PowerPoint slideshows in a qualitative study, and found that participants found Data Comics more engaging, efficient, and enjoyable.



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