Blog Archives

The Scrollytelling Scourge

May 25, 2016
By
The Scrollytelling Scourge

Scrollytelling is a common way of interacting with stories these days. Scroll down and the story unfolds! Except it’s often awkward, brittle, and gets in the way. The Age of Scrollytelling Scrolling is a funny thing. It was long considered something people rarely did, and many news organizations will still talk about stories being “above the … Continue reading The Scrollytelling Scourge

Read more »

Row-Level Thinking vs. Cube Thinking

May 23, 2016
By
Row-Level Thinking vs. Cube Thinking

Our mental model of a dataset changes the way we ask questions. One aspect of that is the shape of the data (long or wide); an equally important issue is whether we think of the data as a collection of rows of numbers that we can aggregate bottom-up, or as a complete dataset that we can slice top-down to ask … Continue reading Row-Level Thinking vs. Cube Thinking

Read more »

OpenVis 2016 Talk Videos and Pointers

May 18, 2016
By
OpenVis 2016 Talk Videos and Pointers

The OpenVis Conference had another great selection of talks this year. Here is a list of my favorites, with talk videos and pointers to some additional materials. The conference venue was the IMAX theater of the Boston Aquarium, which was great. Not only was the huge screen and theater seating a definite plus, but the ticket also included … Continue reading OpenVis 2016 Talk Videos and Pointers

Read more »

New Edition of Designing the User Interface

May 16, 2016
By
New Edition of Designing the User Interface

The 6th edition of Designing the User Interface just came out. This is one of the central books in HCI. This edition is also notable because it adds a lot of fresh blood to the list of authors. Ben Shneiderman published the first edition of the book in 1986. Since the third edition, Catherine Plaisant has been … Continue reading New Edition of Designing the User Interface

Read more »

MTurk IDs Are Not Anonymous

May 5, 2016
By
MTurk IDs Are Not Anonymous

The worker IDs Amazon’s Mechanical Turk gives you may look pretty random and anonymous, but they can reveal personally-identifiable information. They need to be removed from datasets, especially when they are shared or published. Like many things, I learned this the hard way. Or I would have, had Steve Haroz not caught it in the data … Continue reading MTurk IDs Are Not Anonymous

Read more »

3D Bar Charts Considered Not That Harmful

May 3, 2016
By
3D Bar Charts Considered Not That Harmful

We’ve turned the understanding of charts into formulas instead of encouraging people to think and ask questions. That doesn’t produce better charts, it just gives people ways of feeling superior by parroting something about chart junk or 3D being bad. There is little to no research to back these things up. The Trivapro 3D Bar Chart This 3D … Continue reading 3D Bar Charts Considered Not That Harmful

Read more »

Introducing Shift Register, My New Electronics Blog

April 27, 2016
By
Introducing Shift Register, My New Electronics Blog

I have started a new blog, which I call shift register. It’s about electronics projects I’m doing, mostly building circuits on breadboards and playing with Arduinos. Electronics have been an interest of mine since I was a child. I played with electronics kits from a very early age, and as a teenager spent countless hours … Continue reading Introducing Shift Register, My New Electronics Blog

Read more »

Spreadsheet Thinking vs. Database Thinking

April 25, 2016
By
Spreadsheet Thinking vs. Database Thinking

The shape of a dataset is hugely important to how well it can be handled by different software. The shape defines how it is laid out: wide as in a spreadsheet, or long as in a database table. Each has its use, but it’s important to understand their differences and when each is the right choice. Wide … Continue reading Spreadsheet Thinking vs. Database Thinking

Read more »

The Personified User Interface Trap

April 19, 2016
By
The Personified User Interface Trap

Personified user interfaces, like chat bots or agents, are the new thing once again. But despite advances in artificial intelligence, they still have many issues and drawbacks compared to direct-manipulation interfaces. There was a debate around these interfaces in the 1990s, and it seems to be bound to repeat itself. In the last few weeks, Facebook unveiled a … Continue reading The Personified User Interface Trap

Read more »

Links: Scott Klein on the History of Data Journalism

April 7, 2016
By
Links: Scott Klein on the History of Data Journalism

The history of data journalism goes back much farther than most people assume. Long before computers or punch cards, and before even the first newspapers the way we know them today, data was being published. ProPublica’s Scott Klein has been digging up a lot of interesting history. He wrote an article for this year’s Malofiej book, which he … Continue reading Links: Scott Klein on the History of Data Journalism

Read more »


Subscribe

Email:

  Subscribe