While acknowledging a middle ground for discovery and beauty, Lima draws a distinction between information visualization and information art, which is more often vernacular eye-candy. Here are Lima's 10 directions for any project in this realm:
- Form Follows Function (not data)
- Start with a Question
- Interactivity is Key
- Cite your Source
- The power of Narrative
- Do not glorify Aesthetics
- Look for Relevancy
- Embrace Time
- Aspire for Knowledge
- Avoid gratuitous visualizations
Update: BBH Labs has some thoughts in From Art to Apps: Data Visualisation finds a purpose and “Do not glorify aesthetics”: a manifesto for Data Visualisation? See also summary of the TED re-presentation ‘Network Visualization in an Age of Interconnectedness’ – Manuel Lima Talks at BBH by Joe Fry.
Update 2: Lima takes another look at a few loose ends from his particular viewpoint and notes a Wired reference, and Robert Kosara of (eagereyes.org) looks for a new term, Not Visualization, but Visual Analysis.
Update 3: Cool Infographics notes a mash-up of Lima's main site,