Let me draw you a picture…

Anyone who has clarified a thought or prompted a response during a conversation by drawing a picture has exploited the potential of image making to convey information. In the Visualization Studies Research Studio, led by University of Washington faculty member Jaime Snyder, we use qualitative and design methods to work with image-making as a form of social interaction.

In order to support inclusive, ethical, and appropriate visualization practices, we investigate questions such as:

  • Which data are we making visible, why, and for whom? What is motivating these choices and what values are reflected in these decisions?
  • How we are making this data visible? What are the mechanisms of visual encoding that enable us to surface certain things and obscure other things?
  • And what are the implications of these design choices, especially in terms of social interactions, collaboration and coordination?


The collaborators that make up the team at VSRS comes from diverse backgrounds and multi-faceted disciplines.

Images created by participants in a co-design study looking at the visual representation of lived experiences with serious mental illness.