Coded visualization: the rhetoric and aesthetics of data-based cultural interface
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Visualization enables new forms of social expression beyond the support of scientific data analysis. Focusing on the expanded roles of computational visualization, I investigate the influences of computation on the aesthetics and the rhetoric of visualization through design research methods. My design research includes 1) the construction of knowledge by synthesizing literature from digital media studies, visual rhetoric, information visualization, graphic design history, and HCI and 2) research through practices and consequent critiques. Coded visualization is a new term that I coined to integrate the rhetoric and aesthetics of data visualization. I define it as a data-based interface whose visual form is an aesthetic space where messages are coded and interpreted with cultural references. I also suggest the design criteria of coded visualization, apply them to a design project, and critique how the current design of the project can be improved to fully exemplify the concept of coded visualization. This study on the rhetoric and aesthetics of visualization through design research contributes to digital media studies, design research, as well as information visualization.