<  Back to the Polytechnique Montréal portal

A Design Language for Prototyping and Storyboarding Data-Driven Stories

Morteza Asgari and Thomas Hurtut

Article (2024)

Open Acess document in PolyPublie and at official publisher
Open Access to the full text of this document
Published Version
Terms of Use: Creative Commons Attribution
Download (5MB)
Show abstract
Hide abstract


Data-driven stories (DDS) are digital forms of storytelling that arrange data and visualizations to communicate a narrative of information to an audience. They have been growing rapidly over the past decades. As a result, a great degree of versatility appears in the forms of published DDS. The recent structures of DDS are more complex, respecting their arrangement, composition, features, and inner parts. In the current academic research, neither storytelling techniques nor any taxonomies suggest visual mechanisms to distinguish between different layouts, compositions, and arrangements. The lack of an expressive visual solution that integrates different parts of DDS under one structure prevents the authors from trying more alternative design paths in the story design process. In this proposed work, we unify all the constructing parts of DDS to define the narrative structure as a visually structured representation of the DDS narrative, which is formed and designed by their constructing elements. This solution proposes a design language consisting of a set of design rules that integrate the visual elements to represent the DDS narrative structure. Our evaluation of the audit process out of 100 DDS examples confirms that the design language is comprehensive, expressive, and versatile. Additionally, we developed DataStoryDesign, a system that incorporates this visual solution to facilitate prototyping and storyboarding DDS for a team of DDS authors. The preliminary result of the exploratory evaluation indicates that such a solution is effective in prototyping and storyboarding DDS. In addition, our findings confirmed that the existence of our design language improves the visual communication between different personas in the DDS production workflow.

Uncontrolled Keywords

information visualization; data visualization; design; storytelling

Department: Department of Computer Engineering and Software Engineering
Funders: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Grant number: ALLRP-561132-20
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/57577/
Journal Title: Applied sciences (vol. 14, no. 4)
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
DOI: 10.3390/app14041387
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/app14041387
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2024 14:52
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2024 17:18
Cite in APA 7: Asgari, M., & Hurtut, T. (2024). A Design Language for Prototyping and Storyboarding Data-Driven Stories. Applied sciences, 14(4), 1387 (35 pages). https://doi.org/10.3390/app14041387


Total downloads

Downloads per month in the last year

Origin of downloads


Repository Staff Only

View Item View Item