The creation of compelling visualisation paradigms is a craft often dominated by intuition and issues of aesthetics, with relatively few models to support good design. The majority of problem cases are approached by simply applying a previously evaluated visualisation technique. A large body of work exists covering the individual aspects of visualisation design such as the human cognition aspects visualisation methods for specific problem areas, psychology studies and so forth, yet most frameworks regarding visualisation are applied after-the-fact as an evaluation measure.
We present an extensible framework for visualisation aimed at structuring the design process, increasing decision traceability and delineating the notions of function, aesthetics and usability. The framework can be used to derive a set of requirements for good visualisation design and evaluating existing visualisations, presenting possible improvements. Our framework achieves this by being both broad and general, built on top of existing works, with hooks for extensions and customizations. This paper shows how existing theories of information visualisation fit into the scheme, presents our experience in the application of this framework on several designs, and offers our evaluation of the framework and the designs studied.