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With the influx of information flooding the web – 90% of the web having been created in the last two years alone – web businesses are looking for ways to understand and use big data to drive their business.
Designing an infographic or a data visualization is an act of engineering. Does this idea sound strange to you? Sometimes it does when I present it in lectures and classes. Many people tend to think that I am indulging in some sort of vague game of metaphors, but I am not. I say it quite literally. I believe that an infographic is a tool in a very similar way that hammers, saws, and screwdrivers are tools: They are instruments we devise and build to extend our capacities beyond their natural limits, to accomplish feats that would be extremely difficult — or even impossible — if tried without their aid. We humans are natural-born cyborgs. We are used to getting raw materials from the environment (whether that’s iron and wood, or information and data) and giving them shapes that are adapted to certain goals or tasks.
Think about it this way: Tools are not always actual objects designed to help us with physical activities. A notebook, whether it is a Moleskine or an Evernote digital document, is a tool that expands our memory. A digital calculator, whether it is an inexpensive machine bought in the nearest Dollar Tree or an app downloaded to your iPhone, frees you from the burden of having to retain and execute many complex mathematical algorithms. Non-physical tools (or sets of tools and practices), such as statistics and the scientific method, evolved to let us gaze beyond what we would normally see, and to overcome our deepest biases and lazy habits of mind. The same is true for great visual displays of information...
“With a grant from the UK's Technology Strategy Board we have been exploring real-time visualisation and the visualisation of large data-sets. One of the results is an interactive visualisation of the carbon footprint of every ...
Interactive data visualizations are an exciting way to engage and inform large audiences. They enable users to focus on interesting parts and details, to customize the content and even the graphical form, and to explore large amounts of data. At their best, they facilitate a playful experience that is way more engaging than static infographics or videos.
Several ideas and concepts of interaction design for data visualizations are presented in this post, using 11 examples from the web. The overall concepts featured include:
The Basics: Highlighting and Details on Demand Making More Data Accessible: User-driven Content Selection Showing Data in Different Ways: Multiple Coordinated Visualizations Showing Data in Different Ways: User-driven Visual Mapping Changes Integrating Users’ Viewpoints and Opinions
Visit the complete article for numerous links, useful visuals and specific details on how to understand, implement and evaluate interactive design elements used in data visualization design.
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