Working With or Next to Each Other?

Authors Gerard Smit, Yael de Haan, Laura Buijs
Published in The Journal of Media Innovations
Publication date 2014
Research groups Quality Journalism in Digital Transition
Type Article


Due to the need to present information in a fast and attractive way, organizations are eager to use information visualisations. This study explores the collision between the different experts involved in the production of these visualisations using the model of trading zones supplemented with the learning mechanisms found in the boundary crossing literature. Results show that that there is not one single good solution to effective interdisciplinary cooperation in the field of information visualisation. Rather, all four types of cooperation that we distinguish – enforced, dominated, fractionated, and attuned – might work well, as long as they are adapted to the situation and the participants accept the constraints of the specific cooperation type they are engaged in. In any case the involved experts and initiators have to understand and incorporate approaches that enhance the cocreative, iterative nature of the production process. In surveying the different forms of collaboration we detect two major forms of trading zones: the one that encompasses the collaboration between an external client and a designer (external trading zone) and the trading zones within an organization between content producer and designer (internal trading zone). Both mechanisms of identifying each other’s expertise and coordinating the different tasks in the production process seem beneficial for the production process.

On this publication contributed

  • Yael de Haan
    Yael de Haan
    • Professor
    • Research group: Quality Journalism in Digital Transition

Language English
Published in The Journal of Media Innovations
Year and volume 1 2
Key words Data visualisation, infographics, information visualisation, multi-skilled journalists, trading zone, boundary crossing, computational thinking, newsroom studies, case study
Page range 36-51

Quality journalism in Digital Transition