All posts about
Information graphics

Hans Rosling: Doctor, Professor, and Presenter Extraordinaire

Eulogy by the master of preso on the master of stats.

“The Zen Master of data visualization has died. I am sorry to have to report that Dr. Hans Rosling passed away today in Uppsala, Sweden. He was just 68. A profoundly mournful day for anyone who knew Professor Rosling, obviously. But it’s also a sad day for all of us in the greater TED community or data visualization/business intelligence communities as well. Dr. Rosling’s work was seen by millions and will continue to be seen by millions worldwide. It is incalculable just how many professionals Hans inspired over the years. His presentations, always delivered with honesty, integrity, and clarity, were aided by clear visuals of both the digital and analog variety. He was a master statistician, physician, and academic, but also a superb presenter and storyteller. (…) Let us all remember Professor’s Rosling’s contributions and continue to keep the dream of a more fact-based, rational worldview alive.”

Garr Reynolds a.k.a. /garr-reynolds | @presentationzen

The next era of designers will use data as their medium

We used to call it Information Visualization of InfoGraphics. What’s in a name.

“The software industry today is in need of a new kind of designer: one proficient in the meaning, form, movement, and transformation of data. I believe this Data Designer will turn out to be the most important new creative role of the next five years.”

(Mark Rolston ~ Wired)

Analyzing Minard’s visualization of Napoleon’s 1812 march

Learning about the history of your profession is the best thing you can do.

“There are some similarities to designing print data graphics and modern interfaces for mobile and web. When we need to translate numbers into graphics for users, we need to focus on communicating lots of information without overwhelming the users with extraneous content. Both Playfair and Minard created effective graphics to turn numbers into a narrative, but Minard was able to tell a much more detailed story with his design techniques.”

(Joanne Cheng a.k.a. @joannecheng ~ thoughtbot)

Organizing the world: How hypermedia looked in 1934

So pleased with this information graphics from Paula and her team.

“Sharing the dream of Paul Otlet about Mundaneum – a kind of hypermedia system that allowed the management and sharing of all human knowledge in the 30’s. (…) Systems, principles and machines created by Otlet and La Fontaine to organize the huge documents and index cards in the RBU. The creation of a highly flexible language management system for databases: The Universal Decimal Classification (UCD), the first modern faceted classification system, in opposition of Melvil Dewey’s Decimal Classification.”

(Paula Azevedo Macedo a.k.a. @paulamacedo, Seth Pérez, and Larissa Braga)

Fritz Kahn: The little-known godfather of infographics

Every current field has its longtime history. You should only look for connections, inspiration and influences.

“Around the time when Austrian sociologist, philosopher, and curator Otto Neurath was building his ISOTYPE visual language, which laid the foundation for pictogram-based infographics, another infographic pioneer was doing something even more ambitious: The German polymath Fritz Kahn – amateur astronomer, medical scientist by training, gynecologist by early occupation, artist by inclination, writer, educator and humanist by calling – was developing innovative visual metaphors for understanding science and the human body, seeking to strip scientific ideas of their alienating complexity and engage a popular audience with those essential tenets of how life works.”

(Maria Popova ~ Brainpickings)

How to be an educated consumer of info graphics: David Byrne on the art-science of visual storytelling

A couple of my universa coming together.

“(…) at the heart of the aspiration to cultivate a kind of visual literacy so critical for modern communication. Here are a few favorite pieces from the book that embody that ideal of intelligent elegance and beautiful revelation of truth.”

(Maria Popova a.k.a. @brainpicker ~ Brain Pickings)

The language of dynamic and interactive graphics

A way to make meaning out of big data, content and information.

“This blog post explores if and how the framework for the analysis of static graphics offered by Yuri Engelhardt in his PhD thesis, The language of graphics: A framework for the analysis of syntax and meaning in maps, charts and diagrams (2002), might be usefully extended to become applicable to dynamic and interactive graphics as well. This brief exploration will center on a discussion of one example of a dynamic graphic: Gapminder World.”

(Lucas Reehorst ~ Masters of Media)

Information architecture schools of thought (beta)

Great infographics for better understanding the history of IA.

“The research captured unique IA practice definitions and related concepts that have given shape to the industry. Works are cited because they have persisted and are actively endorsed, practiced or developed as an area of research and theoretical inquiry.”

(Nathaniel Davis a.k.a. @iatheory ~ DSIA)

What does a user-centered design process look like?

Reading the high-level phases, thought it was rather circular, iterative and incremental than linear.”

“What really differentiates user-centered design from a more traditional waterfall model of software design is the user feedback loop, which informs each phase of the project. This feedback loop is established through the use of a range of techniques that have become the staple for UX Designers. There are a ton of them, and knowing when to use which techniques during which phase of a project comes with experience. Personally, I find experimenting with new techniques and tweaking old favorites is part of the fun of being a UX Designer.”

(Matthew Magain a.k.a. @mattymcg ~ UX mastery)

All dashboards should be feeds

What you also can do with Big Data and Feeds. Creating meaning out of information.

“So, a big but sincere request to everybody who’s making analytics or stats apps, either standalone or as part of a larger app: Please throw away the dashboard. I know they demo well and look great in investor pitch decks or screencast videos. But they don’t actually help me make decisions, or get better at what I’m doing. And that’s the only reason I’m measuring something in the first place.”

(Anil Dash a.k.a. @anildash)

Visualizing Data: Seeing is Believing

How perception of information drives our concepts and the way we think, understand and come up with ideas.

“As humans, our ability to observe and analyse the contents of the world around us is both unique and astonishing, but so too is our capacity to form verbal and visual concepts. These seem to be the principal factors which have worked to our adaptive advantage in competition with other animal species. We are, in one respect at least, superior to other animals because we have developed a greater variety of systems of communication and expression, and one of these is art.”

(Richard Ingram)

The Diagram of Information Visualization

Even business graphics is on the horizon. And that’s not clipart in PPTs.

“In the last ten years, the area of Information Visualization has witnessed an exponential increase in its popularity. Diagrammatic reasoning and visual epistemology are becoming readily accepted methods of research in many academic domains. Concurrently, information graphics and Infovis have grabbed the attention of a larger mainstream audience.”

(Parsons Journal for Information Mapping Volume IV, Issue 4)

The Age of User Experience Design: Infographic

The numbers – if true – are amazing.

“The growth of the User Experience Design field is breathtaking, but well deserved. Thanks to UX Designers all over the world, the quality of products has increased dramatically. Design really does matter now. It’s a user centric world in which there’s not only Apple on the scene anymore.”

(Martin Treder a.k.a. @marcintreder ~ UXPin)

Expressing UX Concepts Visually

One image, a thousand words. One word, a piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

“It is all too easy to create UX deliverables that are not visually pleasing. But UX expertise encompasses Web design, graphic design, and branding, so why should we be satisfied with mediocre design in our deliverables? When we present our personas, sitemaps, user flows, wireframes, and other design deliverables to our clients and stakeholders, it is our duty and responsibility to create well-designed deliverables.”

(Barnabas Nagy ~ UXmatters)

Visual Storytelling: New Language for the Information Age

Visuals are great, but what about the language it uses, spoken.

“(…) the most compelling work by a new generation of designers, illustrators, graphic editors, and data journalists tackling the grand sensemaking challenge of our time by pushing forward the evolving visual vocabulary of storytelling.”

(Maria Popova a.k.a. @brainpicker ~ Brain Pickings)
courtesy of nicoooooooon

Edward Tufte’s ‘Slopegraphs’

“What’s interesting is that over 20 years before sparklines came on the scene, Tufte developed a different type of data visualization that didn’t fare nearly as well. To date, in fact, I’ve only been able to find three examples of it, and even they aren’t completely in line with his vision. (…) In this post, we’re going to look at slopegraphs – what they are, how they’re made, why they haven’t seen a massive uptake so far, and why I think they’re about to become much more popular in the near future.”

(Charlie Park a.k.a. @charliepark)

Showcase of Impressive Design Process Explanations

“A common feature amongst the top design portfolio and agency websites is a visually presented explanation of their design process. This simple idea of describing how a potential client’s project will be handled from start to finish is a great way of securing projects and giving the customer an insight into what their working relationship with the designer(s) will be like. This showcase rounds up a bunch of impressive examples of how various designers have explained their design process with the aid of clever graphical elements.”

(Chris Spooner a.k.a. @chrisspooner ~ Line25)