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Archive for the ‘Information Design’ Category

Collaborative Information Visualization : Jeffrey Heer

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Jeffrey Heer
Image from  UWTV

Jeffrey Heer is a familiar name for people from info-visualization community. The Prefuse visualization toolkit created by Jeffery is used and referred by almost all infographics enthusiasts. But somehow I missed out his wonderful (almost an hour long) lecture at University of Washington, Voyagers and Voyeurs: Supporting Collaborative Information Visualization.

Apart from the awesome demos of his works on interactive visualizations, in this lecture, Jeffrey also talks about how collaborative annotations and discussions can enhance the effectiveness of an info-visual. According to him, if a large enough, interesting and interactive info-visual is made available to general audience, equipped with integrated annotation and commenting tools, individuals (not only experts) can find out amazing patterns and perspectives.

From the excerpt:

Interactive visualizations leverage human visual processing and cognition to increase the scale of information with which we can effectively work. However, most visualization research to date focuses on a single-user model, overlooking the social nature of visual media. Visualizations are used not only to explore and analyze, but to communicate findings. People may disagree on how to interpret data and contribute contextual knowledge that deepens understanding. Furthermore, some data sets are so large that thorough exploration by a single person is unlikely. Jeffrey Heer from the University of California, Berkeley, presents a number of novel visualization techniques in this University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering program.

Written by anol

September 11th, 2009 at 7:09 am

Aesthetics and Usability in Webdesign

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In a recent article at A List Apart,  Patrick Lynch summarized (and enhanced) Don Norman’s hypothesis from his famous book ‘Emotional Design’. To quote:

Why attractive things work better
In psychology, emotional reactions to stimuli are called affective responses. Affective responses happen very fast, and are governed in an automatic, unconscious way by the lower centers of the brain that also govern basic instincts (food, fear, sex, breathing, blinking, etc.). Think of affective responses as the brain’s bottom-up reaction to what you see and feel. Cognitive responses are your brain’s slower, top-down, more considered responses. They’re governed by your personal cultural views, learning, experiences, and personal preferences that you are aware of and can easily articulate. Affective reactions assign value to your experiences; cognitive reactions assign meaning to what you see and use.
Affective and cognitive responses to visual stimuli are governed by a three-stage process in the brain, at visceral, behavioral, and reflective processing levels:

In his talk from 2003, Norman turns his incisive eye toward beauty, fun, pleasure and emotion, as he looks at design that makes people happy. He names the three emotional cues that a well-designed product must hit to succeed.

Written by anol

June 24th, 2009 at 6:54 am

Posted in Information Design

Designing for Sign Up

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(via KONIGI) Joshua Porter’s “Designing for Sign Up” presentation from Webstock, 2009, does a great job of focusing the task of sign up on user motivation and anxiety, and thinking through scenarios that help remove barriers to entry or ‘frictions’. Porter describes the entire experience leading up to the call to action, providing excellent examples that ease users into sign up.


View more presentations from Joshua Porter.

Written by anol

May 21st, 2009 at 9:55 am

Posted in Information Design

Designing for “Big Data” Web2.0 Expo, Jeff Veen

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Even More Jeff Veen
Image by designbyfront via Flickr

Jeff Veen from Small Batch, Inc., presented a short and sweet session over at Web2.0 Expo in San Francisco in information graphics and data visualization. During the talk, he focuses on some of the classic examples of information visualization (John Snow pump, Minard’s map, the tube map, Gapminder’s dynamic data visualizations etc.), the issue of “decorative” data versus accessible and usable data, and the emerging challenge to empower lay people to participate in visualizing and analyzing their own data.

3 Key points stood out for creating a good infographics:

  1. Find a story in the data
  2. Assign different visual cues to each dimension of the data
  3. Remove everything that isn’t telling the story

Also read: Infographics: Primer for Learning Content Designer

Found via: information aesthetics

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Written by anol

April 22nd, 2009 at 7:52 am

Whatever happened to the Art in Design? ~ Mike Kus

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Back in November 2008, over at Future of Web Design event at New York, Mike Kus, designer at Carsonified, gave a 15 minute talk entitled “Whatever happened to the Art in Design?”. In it he describes ways in which thinking of web design in a more artistic way will maximize the impact of your site designs.

Here’s a quick summary of his talk:

  1. The 50% thing: Remember the visible pixels on the screen are only 50% of your canvas
  2. Preparation: By knowing your subject matter well you will arm yourself with the knowledge to create well thought out and meaningful ideas
  3. Get Inspired: Get yourself into a headspace where you’re totally consumed by ideas for your project
  4. Idea, Concept, Story: It’s the idea, concept or story within your design that can take a website from a good design to a work of art
  5. Ditch your Mac: Get back to basics with paper and a pen
  6. Execution: Attention to detail is the difference between a good design and a great design


Download a PDF of Mike’s hand drawn talk summary leaflet.

via: thinkvitamin

Written by anol

April 17th, 2009 at 7:57 am