The Fifth Elephant 2012

Finding the elephant in the data.

Sherline Pimenta K.


Everybody Needs a Story: A Narrative Approach to Information Visualization

Submitted May 11, 2012

Understanding Information Visualization via the Visual Narrative (VN) paradigm.


Stories help store information with ease. Studies have proven that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools of communication. This approach is true for visual communication as much as it is for verbal communication. As communication designers, we are asked to create information visualizations, and what we do is give a verbal story a visual form. Infographics attempt to communicate information through visuals; it therefore in a sense becomes visual storytelling. In this workshop, we shall attempt to understand information visualization via the Visual Narrative (VN) paradigm.

The workshop will be conducted in four parts. In part one; we shall understand the VN and its key elements. Part two will consist of a discussion of Static Visual Narratives [SVN] vis-a-vis Information Visualization. In the third session, we shall analyze examples of infographics through the VN perspective. For the final part of the workshop, we shall construct an infographic incorporating aspects of the VN.

Speaker bio

Dr. Sherline Pimenta K. is an Associate Researcher at IDC, IIT Bombay, whose passion is to explore how people make sense of the world around them. Her interests include visual narrative studies, experience design, communication design and visual language. Sherline received her Ph.D. in 2011 from IIT Bombay. Her doctoral thesis entitled ‘Moment and Moments: Discourse in Static Visual Narratives’ explores how stories (written or oral) are communicated through static images using the stucturalist perspective.

Krishna Kumar is a Principal UX Designer at Symantec Software India Pvt. Ltd. involved with the design of various enterprise mobile applications. He is also a research scholar at IDC, IIT Bombay, India and is investigating Interactive Visual Narratives.



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