The past october 2nd KeC assisted to UX conference organized by UOC which the theme this year was related to data visualization. A theme that affects us directly. If we go back to first sketches about data visualization, we have a clear landmark, Leonardo Da Vinci with his illustrations that he made to document human anatomy. But nowadays, as online consultancy, how does the data visualization affect us? In this era of Big data where we are overwhelmed with information, so we need to look for essential ways to make transmission easier. The representation bases on visual metaphor that we all understand to represent data we don’t understand or that is hard to understand at first sight.
How can graphics help us?
Graphics can help us to interpret easier and effectively information. Graphics are composed with language and image that combined will always be more precise than separated, besides, the image has the advantage to be easier to remember tan numeric information. For example, in a bargraph it will not be easy to remember every value for each component but it will be easier to remember if their trajectory is mainly ascending or descending.
Aesthetical aspects to mind in data representation:
The image will always be serving information. Sometimes, the problema with graphics is the tool used to create them. A sentence echoes among the assistants “ Excel makes us worse people”. Maybe a bit extreme, Excel is a tool that manages information in a very optimal way but perhaps it is not the best to visualize them. There are optimal different graphics to represent each type of information. It is adviced to choose the type of visualization after an exhaustive analysis of the information we have gathered, so we can determine which information we want the receptor to perceive. 3D in graphics only have aesthetical sense more than any other purpose and they usually confuse the data transmission. It will always be easier to understand a line than an área, that is bidimension than tridimension. We have been mistaken our whole lives, the cheese graphic is not the the Higgs Boson of representation. As it is mainly used when not necessary. When there are more than three representative áreas, the eye can not compare in a optimal way the superficial difference between them. “Less is more”, if we want to communicate an information, let’s be direct and have it very clear what we want the viewer to receive. What it is not necessary, will always be bothering us, so why don’t we make it easier? We leave you with a picture of the Barcelona design team posing next to a visualization of the conferences made live during the day, Because if you can draw it…It exists!