designing with data: creating visualizations to tell your story

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A presentation explaining the importance of visualizations. I begin by reviewing some general theories about translating data into visuals, and then dive deeper into some specifics for using qualitative and quantitative information to tell your story. Finally I close by discussing some more technical details that everyone making visualizations should be aware of. It was geared towards an internal audience that has varying levels of technical understanding regarding the artistic, psychological, and narrative principles that inform well made visualizations and infographics.

TRANSCRIPT

  • Welcome to the presentation on Designing with Data. I hope youre excited to learn. Dominic Prestifilippo | andCulture | Design Methods Training | December 4, 2013
  • AGENDA Intro General Theories Quantitative Qualitative Details Critique
  • introduction People are visual learners Visualizations help everyone
  • introduction 80% of the information we take in is provided by our eyesight. People are visual learners. http://www.vision1to1.com/EN/HomePage.asp?BGColor=1&Category=6&Article=122
  • Introduction Visualizations help everyone. 1. Making them provides further insight into the information 2. Visualizations invite comments and inspired discussion 3. Enable presentations that arent reliant on scripts or memorization Dan Roam, Back of the Napkin, pg 11
  • General Theories Storytelling Levels of Information Layer Information Proportions Sanity Check
  • General Theories | Storytelling Tell a story. Provide context. Dont let data lie. have intent.
  • General Theories | Storytelling Tell a story. Have a point to make when creating an infographic and let that guide your decisions. http://visual.ly/most-popular-baby-names-girls
  • General Theories | Storytelling Tell a story. Have a point to make when creating an infographic and let that guide your decisions. My interpretation is, anyone with these names should hope they have interesting middle names. Is that the intent? http://visual.ly/most-popular-baby-names-girls
  • General Theories | Storytelling provide context. 380,000 Number Of Locations Worldwide Information without context is un-relatable. People dont know what it means or what to do with it. Western Union http://issuu.com/dpresto/docs/remas_book
  • General Theories | Storytelling provide context. Sure it seemed like a lot before, but you may have also thought there was a lot of these other locations. This helps highlight the differences in perception of a lot. 380,000 Number Of Locations Worldwide Information without context is un-relatable. People dont know what it means or what to do with it. 31,000 16,700 8,500 Wal-Mart Starbucks McDonalds Western Union http://issuu.com/dpresto/docs/remas_book
  • General Theories | Storytelling Dont let Data Lie. Percentages hide absolute values, skewing real scale. http://visual.ly/most-popular-content-management-systems-2013
  • General Theories | Storytelling Dont let Data Lie. Percentages hide absolute values, skewing real scale. Earlier in the graphic, were told Wordpress has 50.07% of the CMS market while Joomla only has 6.44% http://visual.ly/most-popular-content-management-systems-2013
  • General Theories | Storytelling have intent. Treat each decision as if it is crucial to the entire piece, because it is. http://visual.ly/knife-skills
  • General Theories | Storytelling have intent. Treat each decision as if it is crucial to the entire piece, because it is. I assume the decision to illustrate this as a sketch is to make something potentially scary and dangerous seem more approachable. http://visual.ly/knife-skills
  • General Theories | levels of info Broad Points. Visible from 4 or more Very Specific Details. visible from less than 1
  • General Theories | levels of info 4 feet 12 inches http://visual.ly/how-startup-funding-works
  • General Theories | Layer Information Average wait times Juxtaposing relevant data can produce even more interesting results, highlighting potential relationships and making both data sets more valuable. http://visual.ly/waiting-time-week
  • General Theories | Layer Information Average wait times per day is much more interesting http://visual.ly/waiting-time-week
  • General Theories | Proportions The Golden Ratio. The Fibonacci Sequence.
  • General Theories | Proportions The Golden Ratio. a/b = (a+b)/a 1.618033988 a b Sample Pattern.
  • General Theories | Proportions The fibonacci sequence. 1 0+1=1 1+1=2 1+2=3 2+3=5 3+5=8 5+8=13 8+13=21 13+21=34 Sample Pattern.
  • General Theories | Sanity Check Is this important? Does this provide value? Does this make sense? Can this be done better? Does this help convey my message?
  • Quantitative Graph Types Statistics
  • Graph Types | Basic Bar Charts whiskers bar chart bar chart Bar Chart. The biggest benefit of bar charts is that different tems of data can easily be compared visually. whiskers whiskers histogram histogram Stacked Bar Chart. histogram histogram. Stacked bar charts describe totals while allowing a degree of internal breakdown of the data. in a histogram it is important to retain and display the empty space. It contributes to the picture of the data as a whole. stacked bar chart stacked bar chart candlestick candlestick Brian Suda, A Practical Guide to Designing with Data, pg 114, 119, 120
  • Graph Types | Advanced Bar Charts bar chart whiskers Whiskers. bar chart whiskers whisker is a small vertical line representing plus or minus two per cent from the value, with some horizontal histogram histogram lines to make the ends easier to see and measure. stacked bar chart candlestick stacked bar chart candlestick Candlestick chart. The whiskers, or wicks, that extend up and down do not measure margin of error, but the maximum and minimum where the bar represents the starting and finishing points. Brian Suda, A Practical Guide to Designing with Data, pg 121, 122
  • Graph Types | Pie Chart a pie chart can only represent relative amounts. The most effective pie charts comprise only two items, such as the percentage of male or female customers. The total value of the information must add up to one hundred per cent Unknown Female Male Brian Suda, A Practical Guide to Designing with Data, pg 132
  • Graph Types | Others line graph. scatter plot. Line graphs work best when the data is continuous. Scatter plots are a useful tool to reveal relationships between any amount of independent values. The data points are placed in a grid in an attempt to build a larger picture. One of most common variables used in line graphs is time Brian Suda, A Practical Guide to Designing with Data, pg 111, 161
  • Statistics | Average ( ( )= M #of elementsof elements in the series # in the series )= M =M =M =M =M MEan. MEdian. Mode. We add together all of our test results and then divide it by the sum of the total number of marks there are. The Median is the middle value in your list. The mode in a list of numbers refers to the list of numbers that occur most frequently. http://math.about.com/od/statistics/a/MeanMedian.htm
  • qualitative Statements Relationships
  • Statements | Bold Statements Make Bold Statements
  • Statements | Highlighting Use this to highlight a piece of a quote you would like cited. http://www.plantbasedpeople.com/misc.php?do=bbcode
  • Statements | Iconography Include relevant iconography to help with wayfinding and make the written content more memorable http://pictos.cc/
  • Relationships | Mind Map Sub-idea 1 a2 b-ide Su a de I Idea 3 It is an unstructured visual outline that allows people to move through the related content in any order they choose. Connected information logically as its produced so that train-of-thoughts and conversations can be easily documented by topic. a1 ide ub S Sub -id ea 2 1 Mind Map Id ea 2 a1 de -i ub S Sub-idea 2 Su bid ea 3
  • Relationships | Affinity Map Using proximity and position to indicate relationships between statements. These clusters develop organically depending on the content under review.
  • Relationships | Flow Charts Flow charts are a very detailed, standardized way of mapping pr