A Design Space for Applying the Freytag's Pyramid Structure to Data Stories

Leni Yang, Xian XU, Xingyu Lan, Ziyan Liu, Shunan Guo, Yang Shi, Huamin Qu, Nan Cao

View presentation: 2021-10-29T13:00:00Z GMT-0600 Change your timezone on the schedule page
Exemplar figure, described by caption below
{\rtf1\ansi\ansicpg936\cocoartf2580 \cocoatextscaling0\cocoaplatform0{\fonttbl\f0\fswiss\fcharset0 Helvetica;\f1\froman\fcharset0 Times-Roman;} {\colortbl;\red255\green255\blue255;\red0\green0\blue0;} {\*\expandedcolortbl;;\cssrgb\c0\c0\c0;} \paperw11900\paperh16840\margl1440\margr1440\vieww11520\viewh8400\viewkind0 \pard\tx566\tx1133\tx1700\tx2267\tx2834\tx3401\tx3968\tx4535\tx5102\tx5669\tx6236\tx6803\pardirnatural\partightenfactor0 \f0\fs24 \cf0 The image shows our design space for applying Freytag\'92s Pyramid to data stories. \f1\fs32 \cf2 \expnd0\expndtw0\kerning0 Our design space considers the setting, rising-climax, and resolution stages in Freytag\'92s pyramid. Then for each stage of the Freytag\'92s Pyramid, our design space provides design strategies regarding three dimensions: the narrative pattern, the data flow, and the visual communication. Importantly, the data flow and visual communication dimension center around the narrative pattern dimension and provide strategies for each narrative pattern. \fs24 \ \ }
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Data stories integrate compelling visual content to communicate data insights in the form of narratives. The narrative structure of a data story serves as the backbone that determines its expressiveness, and it can largely influence how audiences perceive the insights. Freytag's Pyramid is a classic narrative structure that has been widely used in film and literature. While there are continuous recommendations and discussions about applying Freytag's Pyramid to data stories, there is little systematic and practical guidance for data story creators on how to use Freytag's Pyramid for structured data story creation. To bridge this gap, we examined how existing practices apply Freytag's Pyramid through analyzing stories extracted from 103 data videos. Based on our findings, we propose a design space of narrative patterns, data flows, and visual communications to provide practical guidance on achieving narrative intents, organizing data facts, and selecting visual design techniques through the story creation process. We evaluated the proposed design space through a workshop with 25 participants. The results show that our design space provides a clear framework for rapid storyboarding of data stories with Freytag's Pyramid.