You say Potato, I say Po-Data: Physical Template Tools for Authoring Visualizations

Tiffany Wun , Lora Oehlberg , Miriam Sturdee , Sheelagh Carpendale



Providing data visualization authoring tools for the general public remains an ongoing challenge. Inspired by block-printing, we explore how visualization stamps as a physical visualization authoring tool could leverage both visual freedom and ease of repetition. We conducted a workshop with two groups---visualization experts and non-experts---where participants authored visualizations on paper using hand-carved stamps made from potatoes and sponges. The low-fidelity medium freed participants to test new stamp patterns and accept mistakes. From the created visualizations, we observed several unique traits and uses of block-printing tools for visualization authoring, including: modularity of patterns, annotation guides, creation of multiple patterns from one stamp, and various techniques to apply data onto paper. We discuss the issues around expressivity and effectiveness of block-printed stamps in visualization authoring, and identify implications for the design and assembly of primitives in potential visualization stamp kits, as well as applications for future use in non-digital environments.

Keywords:  PotatoTangible ToolsAuthoring VisualizationsBlock PrintingPhysical Template ToolsInformation Visualization


Tiffany Wun, Lora Oehlberg, Miriam Sturdee, Sheelagh CarpendaleYou say Potato, I say Po-Data: Physical Template Tools for Authoring VisualizationsIn Proceedings of the International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI '19)ACM, New York, NY, USA  Page: 1-10.  DOI: