Vialab Launches New Blog on Medium!

Early this summer we began posting blog content at Below is a brief description of our current blog posts as of the time of this writing.

Case study: Visualizing sexual harassment in academia

Our first blog post is about our Tied in Knots project and the research that went into it. In this article, we explore the lessons learned and describe the unique design journey our researchers undertook in visualizing data of such an intimate and unstructured nature in a manner that preserves the emotions and harrowing impact behind each survivor’s story.

Covid Connect

Our second blog post was published alongside the initial release of our Covid Connect web app that uses machine learning to guide users through a chatbot conversation about their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and display related stories from other people. This article discusses the design journey of our researchers, the technology behind the application, and how this app seeks to address the mental health crisis associated with the pandemic.

Visualizing Language Transfer Effects in Large Learner Corpora

This article describes in detail the result of a collaboration between our lab and researchers from the University of Konstanz in Germany: the H-matrix visualization. This article describes the utility of our H-matrix visualization and its many features, as well as the research that informed our design decisions.

Effects of Multiple Visual Channels on Outlier Detection

This article describes the results of a research project where we investigated how outlier-ness (or lack-there-of) in one visual dimension in a multivariate data visualization affects the perception of a data-point being an outlier in another visual dimension. Our findings suggest that designers should exercise caution when designing visualizations for multivariate data, especially when those visualizations are to be used for data discovery tasks.

Parallel Tag Clouds: A look back at one of our most influential papers

In our most recent blog post, we reflect on one of our most influential and cited research papers describing a unique text corpora visualization tool we call Parallel Tag Clouds. In this article, we describe the PTC visualization, the text corpora we used it on and the insights we obtained from using our PTC tool, and finally, the surprising reasons our Parallel Tag Clouds paper was so influential.

We plan to continue writing for this blog, and we hope that in doing so we will continue to make our research more accessible and disseminate our findings to a wider audience.