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The happy coupleUX design & data visualisationFrancis RowlandHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013
Made for each otherThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013...
Design is a processMiriah Myer - design study methodologyAndy Kirk - a five-step planNoah Iliinsky - the reader, the design...
Design is a process“Double diamond” stylised/idealised viewProblem space > Solution spaceThe happy couple: UX design and d...
Design is a processThings are messyFiguring out what to make > Making thingsThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisa...
Design is a processThings are messyFiguring out what to make > Making thingsThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisa...
Figuring out what to makeExplore your datadimensions, features, challengesThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisati...
Learn about the audiencelatent needs, pain points, opportunitiesFiguring out what to makeThe happy couple: UX design and d...
Define thingspurpose, goals, audience, interactive/static, success?Figuring out what to makeThe happy couple: UX design and...
Making thingsThis is usually where people startPhoto: jimabeles / FlickrThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisation...
Making thingsSKETCHINGYou do this a lot.I’ve seen you.The happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services F...
Making thingsINSPIRATIONWhat are other people doing?Jonas Löwgren’s flashcardsGamestorming: tools forthinkingJonas Löwgren’...
ExperimentationGive yourself some roomFail (cheaply), explore alternatives,collaborate, stay away from your computerThe ha...
CommunicationBack of the napkin...Can you communicate what you want to visualise?The happy couple: UX design and data visu...
ResourcesData Visualization: a successful design process - Andy KirkDesigning Data Visualizations - Noah Iliinsky & Julie ...
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The happy couple: UX design and data visualisation

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I gave a short talk for the Hinxton Services Forum on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus. As a warm-up for the Campus Services Day (May 16, 2013), I spoke about the relationship between UX design and data visualisation.

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Transcript of "The happy couple: UX design and data visualisation"

  1. 1. The happy coupleUX design & data visualisationFrancis RowlandHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013
  2. 2. Made for each otherThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013Data visualisation and user experience (UX) design go hand-in-hand.Since visualisations have an audience (the users, if you will) then methods and concepts fromthe UX design world can be applied to help make them as good as they can be.This is particularly the case when we are working on interactive visualisations.
  3. 3. Design is a processMiriah Myer - design study methodologyAndy Kirk - a five-step planNoah Iliinsky - the reader, the designer, the dataThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013Design isn’t a veneer that you add at the end.Data visualisation expert Noah Iliinsky says that as soon as you begin to make choices aboutyour visualisation, you are designing.Following a process can help you make sense of visualisation challenges and make the mostof your data
  4. 4. Design is a process“Double diamond” stylised/idealised viewProblem space > Solution spaceThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013The Design Council have a great graphic that illustrates an ideal, somewhat stylised designprocess.We have the “problem space”, where we get to grips with the data visualisation challenge,exploring possibilities, testing assumptions, and learning about the audience.Then we have the “solution space”, where you begin to develop solutions based on whatwe’ve learned, and we evaluate them in different ways.
  5. 5. Design is a processThings are messyFiguring out what to make > Making thingsThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013In reality, things are messy, of course.The key thing is that we allow ourselves a period of divergent thinking about a designchallenge, before converging on a defined problem that we want to solve.Then we have another period of divergent thinking around possible solutions, before weconverge on the thing that actually gets built.We figure out what to make... then we make it.
  6. 6. Design is a processThings are messyFiguring out what to make > Making thingsThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013In reality, things are messy, of course.The key thing is that we allow ourselves a period of divergent thinking about a designchallenge, before converging on a defined problem that we want to solve.Then we have another period of divergent thinking around possible solutions, before weconverge on the thing that actually gets built.We figure out what to make... then we make it.
  7. 7. Figuring out what to makeExplore your datadimensions, features, challengesThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013Experts such as Andy Kirk, Noah Iliinsky and Nathan Yau write about how you can approachyour data and learn about it’s edges and features.What can you do with it? What are the limitations?
  8. 8. Learn about the audiencelatent needs, pain points, opportunitiesFiguring out what to makeThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013Data visualisation experts fully accept that we should consider the audience in our designprocess.Here we are on very familiar UX design territory: particularly thinking about user research,and getting to know your audience.It data visualisation projects, perhaps the most straightforward way to learn about youraudience is to interview them. We’re lucky to have access to people using the things we make(at conference and training sessions), so capitalise on that. Talk to them.Don’t expect them to give you solutions. Rather, learn how they think about a topic; how theydescribe it; how you could frame your visualisation in a way that makes sense to them.
  9. 9. Define thingspurpose, goals, audience, interactive/static, success?Figuring out what to makeThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013What do you, the designer, want to achieve with this visualisation?What do you want your audience to understand or to be able to do?Will the visualisation be static or interactive... or do you need both?And maybe... how are you going to evaluate it and measure its success?Having defined boundaries can help you decide what, and what not, to include in your design.
  10. 10. Making thingsThis is usually where people startPhoto: jimabeles / FlickrThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013The risk of making the wrong thing is high, particularly when you’re working on interactivevisualisations. Of course, you might get it right, and conventions can take you a long way.But perhaps you’re missing out.
  11. 11. Making thingsSKETCHINGYou do this a lot.I’ve seen you.The happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013Sketching, not drawing. This isn’t art.It is an excellent way of visualising and communicating ideas.It is cheap and easy (not art, remember!).
  12. 12. Making thingsINSPIRATIONWhat are other people doing?Jonas Löwgren’s flashcardsGamestorming: tools forthinkingJonas Löwgren’sVisualization CatalogueThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013If you’re working on something novel, or you’re thinking that you want to explore somethingunconventional, where do you start?Well, based on what you’ve learned about your data and your audience, and what you knowyou want to convey or make possible with your visualisation, you can begin exploring.
  13. 13. ExperimentationGive yourself some roomFail (cheaply), explore alternatives,collaborate, stay away from your computerThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013Allow yourself room for some divergent thinking when it comes to possible ways to deliveryour visualisation. The potential downside of starting to code something up is that you canend up so far down one path that you don’t want to try anything else and you don’t want tothrow away what you’ve got!
  14. 14. CommunicationBack of the napkin...Can you communicate what you want to visualise?The happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013Can you quickly explain how you want to visualise your data?Can you sketch how it might look and how the audience can use it (if it’s interactive).Keep it simple - you can even test things with people at coffee breaks...
  15. 15. ResourcesData Visualization: a successful design process - Andy KirkDesigning Data Visualizations - Noah Iliinsky & Julie SteeleVisualize This - Nathan YauInterviewing for Research - Andrew TraversInterviewing Users - Steve PortigaluEvaluating Information Visualizations (paper) - Sheelagh CarpendaleUniversal Principles of Design - Lidwell, Kritina, ButlerSketching the User Experience - Bill BuxtonGamestorming - Gray, Brown, MacanufoUser research (slides) - Francis RowlandDesign Study Methodology - Sedlmair, Meyer, MunznerDesign process: double diamond model - Design CouncilSpark ideas for information visualisation - Francis Rowland (covers Jonas Löwgren’s card deck)Points of View for Nature Methods - Bang WongThe happy couple: UX design and data visualisationHinxton Services ForumMay 9, 2013Thursday, 9 May 2013Bedtime reading?Also, don’t forget that the Vizbi conference (see vizbi.org) is all about data visualisationaimed at biologists.
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