Aesthetics and Visualization

Project Leader Project Co-leader

Sheelagh Carpendale
University of Calgary

Lyn Bartram
Simon Fraser University

Prior research shows that qualities such as balance, flow, symmetry, colour and form (and many others) enhance the appeal and usefulness of human interfaces to technology. These qualities comprise what is commonly known as aesthetics. Using aesthetics to improve interfaces, in particular those used for data visualization, is largely a tacit professional skill, not explicit, reproducible or transferable knowledge.

The new research will focus on discovery, explanation, and computational modeling of aesthetic principles across a variety of key areas, including affective and ambient interfaces, textures and emotions, complex architectural form, graph layouts using traditional motifs and music browsing.

AESTHVIS will develop empirical guidelines for aesthetics in visualization so designers can produce more imaginative and innovative visualizations less constrained by technology.