Design Exposition Discussion Documents for Rich Design Discourse in Applied Visualization

crime analysis
design methodology
statistical process control

Roger Beecham, Jason Dykes, Chris Rooney and William Wong (2021) “Design Exposition Discussion Documents for Rich Design Discourse in Applied Visualization”, IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics, doi: 10.1109/TVCG.2020.2979433


School of Geography, University of Leeds

Department of Computer Science, City University of London

Chris Rooney


William Wong

IDC, Middlesex University


August 2021



We present and report on Design Exposition Discussion Documents (DExDs), a new means of fostering collaboration between visualization designers and domain experts in applied visualization research. DExDs are a collection of semi-interactive web-based documents used to promote design discourse: to communicate new visualization designs, and their underlying rationale, and to elicit feedback and new design ideas. Developed and applied during a four-year visual data analysis project in criminal intelligence, these documents enabled a series of visualization re-designs to be explored by crime analysts remotely – in a flexible and authentic way. The DExDs were found to engender a level of engagement that is qualitatively distinct from more traditional methods of feedback elicitation, supporting the kind of informed, iterative and design-led feedback that is core to applied visualization research. They also offered a solution to limited and intermittent contact between analyst and visualization researcher and began to address more intractable deficiencies, such as social desirability-bias, common to applied visualization projects. Crucially, DExDs conferred to domain experts greater agency over the design process – collaborators proposed design suggestions, justified with design knowledge, that directly influenced the re-redesigns. We provide context that allows the contributions to be transferred to a range of settings.

Important figure

Figure 2: Edited excerpts from our DExDs illustrating the four dialogue strategies: explain, expose, experiment, express.

BibTeX citation

     author = {Beecham, R. and Dykes, J. and Rooney, C. and Wong, W.},
     title = {{Design Exposition Discussion Documents for Rich Design Discourse in Applied Visualization}},
     journal = {{IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics}},
     pages = {3451--3462},
     volume = {27},
     number = {8},
     year = {2021}