Not so long ago, back in the days of brochure ware online, we used to be glad just to see live data dished up in web sites. It was real, it was (sometimes) up to date, even if it was also inevitably dry, dense and tabular, and was often only there to be looked at. Those of us making web sites then didn’t have too many data presentation options; our challenge was usually just to make it as clean and fast loading as possible.
How we have moved on! These days, the web browser is a window onto a sea of rich data. Now, we expect to be able to understand it, personalise how we view it, add our own input to it and transact with it. At the same time, the volume of what is available threatens to overwhelm us. In short, the User Experience of data has changed completely.
Public and private sector organisations are increasingly willing and able to expose aspects of their data both internally and externally, and are using the web as a key channel to do so. Looking internationally we are starting to see pressure on governments to ‘open source’ key data holdings to allow organisations, community groups and individuals to re-use it creatively and in ways that government owners would never imagine. The reality is that User Experience designers and Information Architects are more and more likely to be dealing regularly with the challenges of rich data presentation.
This talk examines some approaches to the analysis and presentation of rich data sets on the web.
Drawing on the presenter’s own direct experiences from large scale projects in the pharmaceutical, educational, aged care and consumer advocacy sectors.