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Family History Storytelling with Data Visualizations Project

Project type

Qualitative field study


Co Investigator

Project Description

Large-scale data and data visualizations are ubiquitous now in the stories that shape our society. In particular, these stories influence youth and families’ communication and understanding of scientific, social, and personal issues. Consequently, we need to better understand how youth and families can engage and learn with the tools that generate such narratives. This project was a qualitative analysis of 13 data discussions with families who used data visualization tools to explore georeferenced data connected to their family migration histories.

Based on the analysis of the families's interactions with the data visualization interface and their storytelling practices, we developed the CSAT model, which details the discursive and interactional processes by which families tell personal stories grounded in data displays. Extending earlier studies of storytelling as theory-building in family conversations, our model provides an understanding of families’ discursive practices around data exploration.

From a UXR Perspective

My part in this project centered specifically on post-hoc analysis and synthesis of previously collected users experience data. My research partner and I used qualitative interaction analysis methodology and inductive open interview coding techniques to develop a model of user interaction with data visualization interfaces. We focused on the ways in which the interface influenced their family history storytelling practices. We then compared this to existing models that did not include the interface and associated historical data sets. Our conclusions provided theoretical foundation upon which current and future design principles are based.

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