Data comics are a way of effectively communicating with data through data visualizations. Inspired by how audiences read and understand comics, data comics integrate texts and images in the 2D display, map time into space through panels and their ordering. Data comics provide the freedom of space-oriented layout of infographics and annotated charts while supporting the linear narration of videos and live presentations. They open up a potential for expressive storytelling with data visualizations.
In 2018, we presented data comic design patterns, each pattern describing a set of panels with a specific narrative purpose (see examples below), that allow for rapid story-boarding of data comics while showcasing their expressive potential. The description of design patterns implies a design space of data comics, which combines a dimension for spatial panel-layouts with a dimension for content relation between panels.
However, creating data comics is still a difficult process, in part because of its interdisciplinary nature, and also because they lack tool supports, many manual works could take significant time and effort during the creation process. My PhD explores the creation process of data comics. We conduct data comic creation workshops with students (e.g., data comic workshop in a course of illustration), and domain experts, running controlled study to understand effectiveness of data comics by comparing it with infographics and triditional text+image formats, aim to provide creation methods (e.g., build interactive data comics), reusable design solutions (e.g., a set of cheat sheets for explaining data visualization techniques, and use Data Comics for Reporting Controlled User Studies in Human-Computer Interaction), and to set fundamental resources of knowledge and design guidance to foster the use and creation of effective data comics.