Iguanodon: A Code-Breaking Game for Improving Visualization Literacy

Iguanodon Teaser


In today's data-rich environment, visualization literacy—the ability to understand and communicate information through visualizations—is increasingly important. However, constructing effective visualizations can be challenging due to the vast design choices involved. Off-the-shelf systems and libraries produce visualizations with carefully selected defaults that users may not be aware of, making it hard to increase their visualization literacy with those systems. In addition, traditional ways of improving visualization literacy, such as textbooks and tutorials, can be burdensome as they require sifting through a plethora of resources. To address this challenge, we designed Iguanodon, an easy-to-use game-like application that complements the traditional methods of improving visualization literacy. In our game application, users interactively choose whether to apply design choices, which we assign to sub-tasks that must be optimized to create an effective visualization. The application offers multiple game variations to help users learn how different design choices should be applied for constructing effective visualizations. Furthermore, our approach easily adapts to different visualization design guidelines. We describe the application's design and present the results of a user study with 37 participants. Our findings indicate that our game-based approach supports users in improving their visualization literacy.



    title = {Iguanodon: A Code-Breaking Game for Improving Visualization Literacy},
    author = {Patrick Adelberger and Oleg Lesota and Klaus Eckelt and Markus Schedl and Marc Streit},
    journal = {OSF Preprint},
    doi = {10.31219/osf.io/xung4},
    url = {https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/xung4},
    year = {2023}