Wow vs. Ah-ha for data graphics

Posted to Design  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

After attending the Eyeo Festival, Zach Gemignani of Juice Analytics noticed a difference in the approach of artists and his own practices with business-related data:

The artists are looking for an emotional “wow” moment; our goal is the “ah ha” moment when a user learns something that can lead to productive action. The question that we so often ask: “what can you do about it?” wasn’t a top priority within the Eyeo crowd.

One group is telling a specific story and the other is searching for one. That’s not to say that one way or the other is bad, however. Each group can benefit from the other:

Ultimately this art vs. practice dichotomy is natural and healthy. In our work, we are inspired by the fun and energy expressed in artistic visualizations. Data visualization is a tool that can and should be used differently depending on the purpose and the audience. The skill in using the tool can be appreciated equally across these different contexts.

There’d be a lot less ruffled feathers if we could all remember that.

[Juice Analytics]

Favorites

The Most Unisex Names in US History

Moving on from the most trendy names in US history, let’s look at the most unisex ones. Some names have …

Pizza Place Geography

Most of the major pizza chains are within a 5-mile radius of where I live, so I have my pick, …

The Best Data Visualization Projects of 2011

I almost didn’t make a best-of list this year, but as I clicked through the year’s post, it was hard …

Who is Older and Younger than You

Here’s a chart to show you how long you have until you start to feel your age.