Publications & presentations

This case study explores the use of an existing data-driven storytelling method, called data comic, within a co-design process, to improve the sense-making of data. Data can often support a co-design process by providing additional insight towards a problem that is being solved. A large number of methods are available to facilitate different aspects of a co-design process, but when it comes to embedding curated data, alternatives are limited. Not everyone has the expertise to understand raw data and co-design scenarios are typically time-limited meaning that learning new data skills is not the focus. Therefore, appropriate data curation can help to bring data into a design process while reducing time spent on data manipulation or upskilling. At the same time, it is important that participants are encouraged to think critically about the data and not simply accept a pre-determined viewpoint. We have adapted an existing technique called Data Comic for curating data for use in a co-design situation by turning the comic panels into a card game so that they can be used interactively and collaboratively. In this paper, we describe and reflect on its use within a workshop with participants who were mostly teenagers. We led them through a process of engaging with curated data to make sense of water pollution in a Finnish lake since the 1970s and raise awareness towards environmental pollution. We present our results from the participant’s feedback and workshop to reflect on how data comics played a role in sense-making.

  • More Weather Tomorrow. Engaging Families with Data through a Personalised Weather Forecast (VRT & LUCA School of Arts)

    Read the paper here.

As data literacy skills are increasingly important in today’s society, scholars have been exploring strategies to engage people with data, for example through storytelling and familiar media such as video. In this paper, we present the design of a video-based data storytelling application that prompts children and their families to explore and interpret historical weather data through a personalised weather forecast. The application was displayed at a 2-month summer exhibition of a popular television channel. In a controlled comparative study, we investigated how the application triggered reflection, as well as emotional and narrative engagement of families at home and at the exhibition. We combined this approach with an in-the-wild study, in which we observed spontaneous interactions of visitors. Our findings indicate that data engagement is encouraged when family interactions occur, which may be facilitated by external environmental conditions and internal story design. Here, we uncover 5 design recommendations for data video storytellers.