Visualization Guidelines Repository

The Visualization Guidelines Repository (VGR) is a collection of various guidelines proposed in the field of visualization. VGR is hosted by the DBVIS group at the University of Konstanz, and consists of guidelines curated from books, papers, and blogs on the topic of visualization. The development of VGR is a continuing effort and this web page is a partial release of a subset of curated guidelines, while others are being prepared (e.g., categorizing, determining paraphrases, checking references, etc.). More guidelines will be added gradually.

The overall goal of this collection is to provide the visualization researchers and practitioners with a community resource that supports various efforts for curating, evaluating, critiquing, refining, and disseminating guidelines. While many guidelines are commonly outlined based on accumulated experience and knowledge about some causal relations in visualization processes, it is necessary to note that there are often questions and discussions about the limitations of some guidelines, including the possibility of overgeneralization, incompleteness, impreciseness, conflicts with others, undefined the use conditions, and limited applications, and so on. For such questions and discussions, we encourage readers to participate in open, democratic, evidence-based discourses through the platform VisGuides. "It takes courage and conviction to propose a new guideline. And it takes a lot more courage and fair-mindedness to accept critiques about the proposed guideline and then retract or refine it." [REF]

"A guideline embodies a wisdom advising a sound practice. This may be a course of action to take or to avoid in achieving a goal." [REF] In VGR, we list each guideline as a qualitative statement, which explicitly or implicitly advise what should be done or should not be done. We associate it with a prime source of reference, which the guideline may be originated from, and a list of references that study the guideline and its potential limitations. At this stage, we have not included those references that report the use of various guidelines but do not analyse such guidelines in detail. In addition, we assign a unique identifier to each guideline, which can be used in the platform VisGuides and other discourse platforms.

For example, the guideline on No Chart Junks is associated with the prime source: and a list of references related to the discourse on the guideline, including but not limited to:
  1. S. Few. Now You See It, Analytics Press. 2009.
  2. S. Bateman, R.L. Mandryk, C. Gutwin, A. Genest, D. McDine and C. Brooks.. “Useful junk?: the effects of visual embellishment on comprehension and memorability of charts”. In Proc. ACM CHI, 2573–2582. 2010.
  3. J. Hullman, E. Adar, and P. Shah. 2011. “Benefitting infovis with visual difficulties”. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 17, 12, 2213 –2222.
  4. S. Few. The Chartjunk Debate: A Close Examination of Recent Findings. 2011.
  5. S. Few. Benefitting InfoVis with Visual Difficulties? Provocation Without a Cause. 2011."
  6. R. Borgo, A. Abdul-Rahman, F. Mohamed, P.W. Grant, I. Reppa, L. Floridi, and M. Chen. “An empirical study on using visual embellishments in visualization”. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 18, 12, 2759-2768. 2012.
  7. Borkin M, Bylinskii Z, Kim N, Bainbridge C, Yeh C, Borkin D, H. Pfister, and Oliva A. “Beyond memorability: visualization recognition and recall.” IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 22(1):519-28. 2016.