Method for the development of data visualizations for community members with varying levels of health literacy.
Many Americans are challenged by the tasks of understanding and acting upon their own health data. Low levels of health literacy contribute to poor comprehension and undermine the confidence necessary for health self-management. Visualizations are useful for minimizing comprehension gaps when communicating complex quantitative information. The process of developing visualizations that accommodate the needs of individuals with varying levels of health literacy remains undefined. In this paper we provide detailed descriptions of a) an iterative methodological approach to the development of visualizations, b) the resulting types of visualizations and examples thereof, and c) the types of data the visualizations will be used to convey. We briefly describe subsequent phases in which the visualizations will be tested and refined. Web deployment of the final visualizations will support the ethical obligation to return the data to the research participants and community that contributed it.