Submission Type

Case Study


2014 EDM Forum Symposium; Data Visualization; WICER; Methods


Purpose: In this case study we describe key features of the structured communication tool—a style guide—used to support interdisciplinary collaboration, and we propose the use of such a tool for research teams engaged in similar projects. We employ tailored infographics to present patient reported outcome data from a community health survey back, in a comprehensible and actionable manner, to the individuals who provided it. The style guide was developed to bridge the semantic gap between the domain and programming experts engaged in this effort.

Innovation: The style guide supports the communication of complex design specifications in a highly structured format that is nevertheless flexible enough to accommodate project growth. Unlike the typical corporate style guide that has a more narrative format, our style guide is innovative in its use of consistent fields across multiple, standalone entries.

Credibility: The process of populating the style guide prompted the designer toward greater design efficiency and led to consistent and specific instructions that met the framework architect’s stated information needs.

Discussion and Conclusion: The guiding values in the creation of the style guide were consistency, clarity, and flexibility. It serves as a durable reference to the desired look and functionality of the final infographic product without dictating an implementation strategy. The style guide format can be adapted to meet the communication needs of other interdisciplinary teams facing a semantic gap.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.