Blog Archives

Video: The Danger of Glitziness

April 29, 2015
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Wayne Lytle created this video about the Viz-O-Matic that provides lots of tools to make visualization glitzier. It’s a nice little spoof, and a throwback to the computer graphics of the early 1990s (it was made for SIGGRAPH 1993). This video was brought up in a discussion about storytelling at CHI last week, though I … Continue reading Video: The Danger of Glitziness

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Conference Report: CHI 2015

April 27, 2015
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Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the CHI 2015 conference in Seoul, South Korea. CHI technically stands for Computer-Human Interaction, but it has become a name rather than an acronym in recent years. And CHI’s scope is very broad, it covers many areas that are not strictly part of HCI (Human-Computer Interaction – … Continue reading Conference Report: CHI 2015

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Link: The Power of Wee Things

April 22, 2015
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Lena Groeger (of ProPublica) has written a beautiful piece about the Power of Wee Things. She talks about using small things, multiples, and units to display data and get people interested. The article goes through many, many examples covering many different areas and ideas. She also gave a great talk on the topic at OpenVis 2014. On a somewhat related … Continue reading Link: The Power of Wee Things

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Paper: ISOTYPE Visualization – Working Memory, Performance, and Engagement with Pictographs

April 20, 2015
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Paper: ISOTYPE Visualization – Working Memory, Performance, and Engagement with Pictographs

Unit charts are not common in visualization, and they are often considered a bad idea. The same is true for using shapes other than rectangles. Neither is based on much actual research, however. In a new paper, we look at the specific example of ISOTYPE-style charts – and find them to be quite effective. I have written about ISOTYPE … Continue reading Paper: ISOTYPE Visualization – Working Memory, Performance, and Engagement with Pictographs

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Link: Design and Redesign in Data Visualization

April 15, 2015
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Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg have written a wonderful piece titled Design and Redesign in Data Visualization about criticism in data visualization. They thoughtfully analyze the practice and point out some of the issues when people create redesigns, including intellectual honesty and perfect hindsight. They then go on to define some “rules of engagement” for a more … Continue reading Link: Design and Redesign in Data Visualization

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Link: Dear Data

April 1, 2015
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Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec are collaborating on a clever and beautiful new project they call Dear Data (Twitter account). Every week, they are sending post cards to each other with hand-drawn visualizations of data they have gathered: public transportation, ways they communicate, etc. Giorgia and Stefanie are two of the most interesting people working in data visualization/design/art right … Continue reading Link: Dear Data

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Link: Data Journalism in the 19th Century

March 25, 2015
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Scott Klein of ProPublica has written a great story about an early use of data in journalism, and Horace Greeley, the colorful journalist behind it. Greeley found an issue and then gathered the data to show the extent of the problem. This is not unlike today. In Greeley’s case, the issue was how much money members of … Continue reading Link: Data Journalism in the 19th Century

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Complications

March 23, 2015
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Complications

In watches, a complication is anything that goes beyond the basic function of showing the current time: alarm time, moon phase, etc.  I think the term should be adopted in user interface design and visualization. With their upcoming Watch, Apple is clearly playing to horology and the long history behind the design of classic watches. They … Continue reading Complications

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Link: CG&A Article on Tapestry

March 18, 2015
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I’ve written a short piece about the Tapestry conference for the Graphically Speaking column in Computer Graphics and Applications. The article talks about the reasoning behind Tapestry, how it’s different from academic conferences, and gives a few examples of talks. It even includes anecdotal evidence to show that the conference has enabled actual knowledge transfer. If you prefer a PDF … Continue reading Link: CG&A Article on Tapestry

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The Value of Illustrating Numbers

March 9, 2015
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The Value of Illustrating Numbers

Showing data isn’t always about trying to convey an insight, or giving people the means to understand the intricacies of data. It can also be a tool to communicate a fact, an amount, or an issue beyond just the sheer numbers. Data illustration is poorly understood, but it can be very powerful. About a year ago, … Continue reading The Value of Illustrating Numbers

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