Arran Ridley Information Visualization

Arran is a research associate at the Urban Complexity Lab at FH Potsdam.

Arran’s research deals predominantly with understanding data visualisation and its effectiveness in the public sphere. Now in the final stages of his PhD through the University of Leeds within the School of Media and Communication, Arran has built a firm foundation of knowledge with an MA in Digital Media and Culture at the University of Warwick based in the Centre of Interdisciplinary Methodologies, and a BA in Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, United Kingdom. He is an experienced freelance illustrator, animator, and graphic designer. He has also supported charity and specialist sectors as a teacher on the subjects of animation, graphic design and media studies.

Projects Contributions

Publications Published Works

The Public Life of Data: Investigating Reactions to Visualizations on Reddit

— ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2021

This research investigates how people engage with data visualizations when commenting on the social platform Reddit. There has been considerable research on collaborative sensemaking with visualizations and the personal relation of people with data. Yet, little is known about how public audiences without specific expertise and shared incentives openly express their thoughts, feelings, and insights in response to data visualizations. Motivated by the extensive social exchange around visualizations in online communities, this research examines characteristics and motivations of people’s reactions to posts featuring visualizations. Following a Grounded Theory approach, we study 475 reactions from the /r/dataisbeautiful community, identify ten distinguishable reaction types, and consider their contribution to the discourse. A follow-up survey with 168 Reddit users clarified their intentions to react. Our results help understand the role of personal perspectives on data and inform future interfaces that integrate audience reactions into visualizations to foster a public discourse about data.