Rethinking Pension Communication–The Role of Metaphors in Information Visualization


Art der Publikation: Conference Paper

Veröffentlicht auf / in: International Conference on Digital Human Modeling and Applications in Health, Safety, Ergonomics and Risk Management

Jahr: 2022

Verlag (Publisher): Springer, Cham



Kay Schröder

Steffi Kohl

Frederique de Jongh

Marco Putzu

Martina Ziefle

André Calero Valdez


Pensions are the most important source of income for the elderly. However, old age poverty is a growing issue and conventional communication channels seem insufficient to inform people about how their current decisions will impact their future pensions. This paper provides a practical approach to addressing pension literacy through data visualization via metaphoric storytelling. Information visualizations aid in both communicating complex phenomena and serve an educational role. In particular, metaphors have been widely applied for educational purposes. We recruited participants (N = 11) for a qualitative user study. Participants’ prior knowledge of pensions was assessed before presenting them with an animated information visualisation about pensions using a tree metaphor. After the stimulus presentation, a semi structured interview was conducted with the participants to assess differences in pension literacy and to gather feedback on the visualisation. These interviews indicate that the used metaphor successfully communicated information about the pension system. The results of the study indicate that metaphors enable participants to immerse themselves in the story and think of scenarios in which their pension decisions affect them, going thereby beyond simple knowledge recall. This provides evidence that this type of data visualization might be suitable to communicate and educate about abstract, long-term phenomena such as climate change and the spread of infectious diseases.


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