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Design

Visualization constraints

In a discussion of context and visualization, Jen Christiansen pulls out a good snippet from Jacob Bronowski's The Observer (1952) on design constraints.…

Metrocard purchasing workflows compared

The process to purchase a MetroCard for the New York Subway is different from the process to purchase tickets for the Bay Area Rapid Transit in San Francisco. From the…

The dots are people

The simple analysis is to approach data blind, as machine output. But this almost always produces an incomplete analysis and a detached, less than meaningful visualization. Jacob Harris, a developer…

Chart none of the things

When it comes to storytelling, copious amounts of data often means lots of charts. Sometimes though, a chart isn't what you need. Sarah Slobin, a graphics editor for the Wall…

Disinformation visualization

Mushon Zer-Aviv offers up examples and guidance on lying with visualization. We don't spread visual lies by presenting false data. That would be lying. We lie by misrepresenting the data…

Loving beautiful things

Lance Hosey, for The New York Times, on design, beauty, and functionality. We think of great design as art, not science, a mysterious gift from the gods, not something that…

Masterful design of the everyday baggage tag

Pilot Mark Vanhoenacker describes the history and careful design of the everyday baggage tag, from the synthetic material it's printed on, to the information each modern tag contains. Just as…

Show me something good

Visualization is a great way to explain and describe data to people who don't know data. Good visualization lets the data speak, as they say. But this doesn't mean you…

Nigel Holmes on explanation graphics and how he got started

Some consider Nigel Holmes, whose work tends to be more illustrative, the opposite of Edward Tufte, who preaches the data ink ratio. Column Five Media asked Holmes about how he…

Infographics are like Mother’s Day cards

Stamen Design is the cover story of this month's Icon Magazine. Well deserved. On infographics and the growing number of tools to make them: Stamen finds inspiration everywhere, but Rodenbeck…

Analysis versus storytelling

Robert Kosara contrasts my version of the pay gap graphic with the NYT original and notes how small changes make a big difference in how a graphic reads. But what…

Too many axes

Kaiser Fung talks about the suck of overlaying plots to show a relationship. When the designer places two series on the same chart, he or she is implicitly saying: there…

How businesses approach infographics

The Washington Post asked three "young entrepreneurs" how their company uses infographics. They responded with similar sentiments. The first one said: Infographics can be great as part of presentations, newsletters…

Fast and slow visualization

James Cheshire ponders the difference between fast and slow thinking maps, and the dying breed of the latter. So do the renowned folks at the NY Times Graphics Dept. prefer…

Van Gogh for the colorblind

After a chat with his color deficient friends about how Vincent van Gogh's paintings seem to appeal to all eyes, Kazunori Asada used visual filters to see how the paintings…

Substratum: A series of interviews with smart people

It's always nice to hear from the people who are the best at what they do. Data visualization studio, Interactive Things has an interview series going, Substratum, that asks designers…

On low-quality infographics

This has been sitting in my drafts folder for a few months. Figured I'd just hit publish and throw it out there. Obvious statement: there are infographics that are horribly…

Significant digits and relevance

Lulu Pinney goes over the subtle art of working with significant digits: When we say on the phone "I'll be there in half an hour" it’s quite likely we'll arrive…

The Don’ts of Infographic Design

Smashing Magazine offers advice on the dos and don'ts of infographic design, but they forgot to include the former. It's as if I wrote a fake post and someone mistook it for a serious guide.

5 misconceptions about visualization

Last month, I had the pleasure of spending a week at the Census Bureau as a "visiting scholar." They're looking to boost their visualization efforts across all departments, and I…

Why learning code for data is worthwhile

There are lots of tools that have come out in the past couple of years that make data easier to handle, analyze, and visualize. Maybe you've used them. I use…

Wow vs. Ah-ha for data graphics

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…