Why Narvis

The idea of Narvis starts with the fact that my team mates and I suffers a lot when explaining a complex visualization design to non-experts in visualization. These non-experts, such as students in a data visualization course, a committee member from other field at our thesis presentation, and visitors from the industry, sometimes feel confused about the complicated visual encodings and have no idea how to read a visualization.

Thus, we wonder whether there are some simple yet effective rules to follow for the introduction of visualization designs. Moreover, we want to build a tool to help people use these rules and explain a visualization design more effectively.

How to introduce a visualization design

Here are the three steps that we believe are effective for the introduction of a visualization design:
1. introduce progressively:
Decompose the visual components in a visual design and introduce them one by one to avoid information overload.
2. keep a clear logic:
Identify the dependent relationship between different visual components so that it is clear which component should be introduced first.
3. avoid unconscious overlooking:
With prior experience in visualization, we might treat certain visual encodings as self-evident and requires no additional explanation, However, the incompleteness of information confuses the non-expert audience.

The offical abstract

Visual designs can be complex in modern data visualization systems, which poses special challenges for explaining them to the non-experts. However, few if any presentation tools are tailored for this purpose. In this study, we present Narvis, a slideshow authoring tool designed for introducing data visualizations to non-experts. We define two types of end users for Narvis: teachers, experts in data visualization who produce tutorials for explaining a data visualization, and students, non-experts who try to understandvisualization designs through tutorials. We present an analysis of requirements through close discussions with the two types of endusers. The resulting considerations guide the design and implementation of Narvis. Additionally, to help teachers better organize their introduction slideshows, we specify a data visualization as a hierarchical combination of components, which are automatically detected and extracted by Narvis. The teachers craft an introduction slideshow through first organizing these components, and then explaining them sequentially. A series of templates are provided for adding annotations and animations to improve efficiency during the authoringprocess. We evaluate Narvis through a qualitative analysis of the authoring experience, and a preliminary evaluation of the generated slideshows.

For more details about Narvis, please refer to the paper