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The Seven Hats of Visualisation Design: A 2017 Reboot

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Webinar hosted by Tableau, delivered by Andy Kirk on 4th April 2017

Published in: Design
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The Seven Hats of Visualisation Design: A 2017 Reboot

  1. 1. The 7 Hats of Visualisation Design: A 2017 Reboot Andy Kirk andy@visualisingdata.com www.visualisingdata.com @visualisingdata
  2. 2. 2 Why a ‘2017 Reboot’? http://www.visualisingdata.com/book/
  3. 3. 3 “There is not one project I have been involved in that I would execute exactly the same way second time around. I could conceivably pick any of them – and probably the thing they could all benefit most from? More inter-disciplinary expertise” Alan Smith OBE, Data Visualisation Editor, Financial Times A truly inter-disciplinary subject
  4. 4. 4 A sometimes overwhelming subject Images from http://images.wikia.com/marvel_dc/images/9/93/Adventures_of_Superman_424.jpg and http://www.adobenido.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/wonder_woman.jpg
  5. 5. 5 A sometimes overwhelming subject Talented superstars Everyday practitioners What capabilities do these people have… that these people should strive to attain?
  6. 6. 6 “Invariably, people who are new to visualization want to know where to begin, and, frankly, it’s understandably overwhelming. Don’t worry if you feel you don’t have skills yet; just start from where you are…” Scott Murray A sometimes overwhelming subject
  7. 7. 7 Lancaster University | 1995 to 1999 UG Degree in Operational Research (OR) + Year in Industry 1997/98 Cooperative Insurance Society (CIS) | 1999 to 2001 Business Analyst West Yorkshire Police | 2001 to 2007 Performance Analyst > Information Manager University of Leeds | 2007 to 2012 Information Manager University of Leeds | 2007 to 2009 Masters Degree (Research) in Data Visualisation Visualising Data Ltd | Part-time 2010, Full-time 2012 – Freelance Data Visualisation Specialist My thinking is shaped by OR
  8. 8. 8 Roles & Mindsets: Edward de Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats Reference from http://www.debonogroup.com/six_thinking_hats.php
  9. 9. 9 Roles & Mindsets: Mr Benn’s many magical costumes Image from http://realtimeshortstories.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/mr_benn.jpg | Video from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMSJNrzQ3PM Mr. Benn, a man wearing a black suit and bowler hat, leaves his house at 52 Festive Road and visits a fancy-dress costume shop where he is invited by the mustachioed, fez-wearing shopkeeper to try on a particular outfit. He leaves the shop through a magic door at the back of the changing room and enters a world appropriate to his costume, where he has an adventure (which usually contains a moral) before the shopkeeper reappears to lead him back to the changing room, and the story comes to an end. Mr. Benn returns to his normal life, but is left with a small souvenir of his magical adventure.
  10. 10. 10 Which capabilities do you already possess? Which capabilities do you not yet possess? Which capabilities will you likely never possess? We ALL start from somewhere: Where are you now?
  11. 11. DIRECTOR
  12. 12. 12 Bringing order to the chaos: Where to begin? What path to take? Image from http://www.mattneuman.com/maze.gif
  13. 13. 13 Managing the decision-making process Stage 1 Formulating your brief Stage 2 Working with data Stage 3 Establishing your editorial thinking Stage 4 Developing your design solution
  14. 14. 14 “… in order to design a tool, we must make our best efforts to understand the larger social and physical context within which it is intended to function.” Bill Buxton Understanding and defining the context Quote from “Sketching User Experiences” http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0123740371/
  15. 15. 15 Understanding and defining the context
  16. 16. 16 Understanding and defining the context
  17. 17. 17 Defining the project’s vision
  18. 18. 18 The coordinator – oversees the project Initiates and leads on formulating the project brief Identifies and establishes the project’s key circumstances Defines the vision for the project depending on desired outcome Manages progress through the workflow and keeps it cohesive Has a ‘thick skin’: needs patience and empathy Gets things done: checks, tests, finishes tasks Pays strong attention to detail DIRECTOR
  19. 19. COMMUNICATOR
  20. 20. 20 Understands the need to be “audience-centred” Perceiving Interpreting Comprehending What does it mean? Is it good or bad? Meaningful or insignificant? Unusual or expected? What does it show? Where is big, medium, small? How do things compare? What relationships exist? What does it mean to me? What are the main messages? What have I learnt? Any actions to take? SUBJECT KNOWLEDGEFORM OF COMMUNICATION AUDIENCE RECEPTIVENESS
  21. 21. 21 What do you want to tell them? What do you think they need to know? What do you know they need to know? If you were them what would you find relevant? How much do they know about a subject? Understands the need to be “audience-centred” Image from http://zeldalily.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/guess-who.jpg
  22. 22. 22 Understands the communication setting
  23. 23. 23 (RIP Hans Rosling, the best of the best communicators) Even when he had his back to you! Image taken from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usdJgEwMinM
  24. 24. 25 Cares about the right functional and subject accessibility Visualisation from Corriere della Serra http://www.corriere.it/cultura/17_marzo_31/premi-malofiej-vince-la-lettura-56ea698a-163a-11e7-b176- 94ba31b8546a.shtml?refresh_ce-cp
  25. 25. 26 Cares about the right functional and subject accessibility Visualisation by Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/infographics/2014-01-16/tracking-super-bowl-ticket-prices.html
  26. 26. 27 Recognises the importance of good annotation “The annotation layer is the most important thing we do... otherwise it’s a case of ‘here it is, you go figure it out’.” Amanda Cox, New York Times Quote from http://eyeofestival.com/speaker/amanda-cox/
  27. 27. 28 Recognises the importance of good annotation
  28. 28. 29 Recognises the importance of good annotation Visualisation by Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/b2eced58-a6cc-11e6-8898-79a99e2a4de6
  29. 29. 30 The broker – manages the human dynamics Helps to gather and understand requirements Manages expectations and presents possibilities Helps to define the perspective of the audience A good listener with a willingness to learn from domain experts A confident communicator with laypeople and non-specialists Possesses strong copy-editing abilities Launches and promotes the final solution COMMUNICATOR
  30. 30. JOURNALIST
  31. 31. 32 Curiosity: ‘An eagerness to know or learn something’ Possesses and shapes the critical curiosity
  32. 32. 33 “What is the pattern of success or failure in the movie careers of a range of notable actors?” Possesses and shapes the critical curiosity
  33. 33. 34 Potent instincts for pattern-matching & sniffing out the story Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Landmesser
  34. 34. 35 Potent instincts for pattern-matching & sniffing out the story Visualisation by Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/billionaires/latest
  35. 35. 36 Potent instincts for pattern-matching & sniffing out the story Visualisation by New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/22/world/europe/europe-right-wing-austria-hungary.html
  36. 36. 37 “A photo is never an objective reflection, but always an interpretation of reality. I see data visualization as sort of a new photojournalism – a highly editorial activity.” Moritz Stefaner Makes the critical editorial judgments: What’s our point? Quote from http://well-formed-data.net/archives/1027/worlds-not-stories
  37. 37. 38 Makes the critical editorial judgments: What’s our point? Photos from http://neilleifer.com/portfolio/
  38. 38. 39 Makes the critical editorial judgments: What’s our point? Image from http://kottke.org/06/07/independent-infographic
  39. 39. 40 The reporter – pursues the scent of an enquiry Defines the trigger curiosity and purpose of the project Has an instinct to research, learn and discover Driven by a desire to help others understand Possesses or is able to acquire salient domain knowledge Understands the essence of the subject’s data Has empathy for the interests and needs of an audience Defines the editorial angle, framing and focus JOURNALIST
  40. 40. DATA ANALYST
  41. 41. 42 Responsible for the collection of data Sourcing data to support the enquiry… “What does the rhythm & architecture of Seinfeld look like?”
  42. 42. 43 Responsible for the examining and familiarising with the data
  43. 43. 44 Responsible for the transformation of data
  44. 44. 45 Responsible for undertaking exploratory data analysis
  45. 45. 46 Responsible for undertaking exploratory data analysis Visualisation by New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/upshot/what-good-marathons-and-bad-investments-have-in-common.html
  46. 46. 47 Responsible for undertaking exploratory data analysis
  47. 47. 48 The wrangler – handles all the data work Has strong data and statistical literacy Has the technical skills to acquire data from multiple sources Examines the physical properties of the data Undertakes initial descriptive analysis Transforms and prepares the data for its purpose Undertakes exploratory data analysis Has database and data modelling experience DATA ANALYST
  48. 48. SCIENTIST
  49. 49. 50 Concerned by the importance of trustworthiness & integrity Visualisation from New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/president
  50. 50. 51 Concerned by the importance of trustworthiness & integrity Images from https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/trump-charts/
  51. 51. 52 Concerned by the importance of trustworthiness & integrity Visualisation by LA Times Graphics http://graphics.latimes.com/kobe-every-shot-ever/
  52. 52. 53 Fundamental knowledge of visual perception Images from http://yusylvia.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/gestalt_illustration-01.jpg?w=604&h=251&h=251 & http://psychology.about.com/od/sensationandperception/ss/gestaltlaws.html
  53. 53. 54 Fundamental knowledge of visual perception Taken from http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2011/12/13/2ds-company-3ds-a-crowd/
  54. 54. 55 Fundamental knowledge of visual perception Image from http://eagereyes.org/basics/rainbow-color-map | Photo from https://twitter.com/espurrkawa/status/829238117848739841
  55. 55. 56 Fundamental knowledge of visual perception Visualisation by Stamen http://stamen.com/work/who-immunization/
  56. 56. 57 Fundamental knowledge of visual perception colorbrewer2.org
  57. 57. 58 Fundamental knowledge of visual perception Map images from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/Mercator_projection_SW.jpg and http://www.vox.com/world/2016/12/2/13817712/map-projection-mercator-globe
  58. 58. 59 The thinker – provides scientific rigour Brings a strong research mindset to the process Understands the science of visual perception Understands visualisation, statistical and data ethics Understands the influence of human factors Verifies/validates the integrity of all data and design decisions Demonstrates “system’s thinking” approach to problem solving Undertakes reflective evaluation and critique SCIENTIST
  59. 59. DESIGNER
  60. 60. 61 To make the best decisions you need to be familiar with all your options and aware of the things that will influence your choices. Responsible for the critical design-related decision-making THINGS YOU COULD DO THINGS YOU WILL DO
  61. 61. 62 Responsible for the critical design-related decision-making “Finish”Start Decisions
  62. 62. 63 Responsible for the critical design-related decision-making
  63. 63. 64 Responsible for the critical design-related decision-making http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/
  64. 64. 65 Balances creative flair with discerning judgment Visualisation by Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/people-shot-to-death-by-police-and-how-they-were-allegedly- armed/2015/05/30/57a514aa-0715-11e5-bc72-f3e16bf50bb6_graphic.html
  65. 65. 66 Balances creative flair with discerning judgment Visualisation by Reuters http://graphics.thomsonreuters.com/14/wine/index.html Visualisation by WSJ http://www.wsj.com/articles/asia-loses-its-sweet-tooth-for-chocolate-1431281818
  66. 66. 67 Balances creative flair with discerning judgment
  67. 67. 68 “Good design is thorough down to the last detail... Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance.” from Dieter Rams’ ‘10 principles of good design’ A commitment to thoroughness Quote from https://www.vitsoe.com/gb/about/good-design
  68. 68. 69 A commitment to thoroughness
  69. 69. 70 The conceiver – provides creative direction Establishes the initial creative pathway through a ‘purpose map’ Forms the initial mental visualisation: ideas and inspiration Has strong creative, graphic and illustration skills Understands the principles of user interface design Is fluent with the full array of possible design options Unifies the decision-making across the design anatomy Has a relentless creative drive to keep innovating DESIGNER
  70. 70. TECHNOLOGIST
  71. 71. 72 Possess the critical technical abilities http://www.visualisingdata.com/resources/
  72. 72. 73 Balances technical flair with discerning judgment Visualisation by Cameron Beccario https://earth.nullschool.net/
  73. 73. 74 Balances technical flair with discerning judgment Visualisation by Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2012/nov/05/you-decide-the-presidential-election-interactive
  74. 74. 75 Balances technical flair with discerning judgment
  75. 75. 76 Balances technical flair with discerning judgment
  76. 76. 77 Balances technical flair with discerning judgment From Archie Tse’s talk https://github.com/archietse/malofiej-2016/blob/master/tse-malofiej-2016-slides.pdf
  77. 77. 78 Balances technical flair with discerning judgment From Gregor Aisch https://www.vis4.net/blog/posts/in-defense-of-interactive-graphics/
  78. 78. 79 Pragmatist finding the means necessary to meet the ends…
  79. 79. 80 Pragmatist finding the means necessary to meet the ends…
  80. 80. 81 Pragmatist finding the means necessary to meet the ends…
  81. 81. 82 The developer – constructs the solution Possesses a repertoire of software and programming capabilities Has an appetite to acquire new technical solutions Possesses strong mathematical knowledge Can automate otherwise manually intensive processes Has the discipline to avoid feature creep Works on the prototyping and development of the solution Undertakes pre- and post-launch testing, evaluation and support TECHNOLOGIST
  82. 82. 83 IN SUMMARY
  83. 83. 84 Director Journalist Data Analyst DesignerTechnologist Communicator Scientist The ‘7 hats’ aren’t entirely exclusive
  84. 84. 85 JOURNALIST = NOSE DATA ANALYST = BACK COMMUNICATOR = EARS/MOUTHSCIENTIST = MIND DIRECTOR = LEGS DESIGNER = EYE TECHNOLOGIST = HANDS Alternative: The ‘Anatomy of the Visualiser’?
  85. 85. 86 Addressing your shortcomings Some require fresh thinking Some require new attitudes/better discipline Some require more knowledge Some require more skills Some require latent talent (technical, creative) Some can be compromised on Some can be gained by collaborating Most requires further experience/practice
  86. 86. 87 “Chefs are able to more clearly discern what they taste because through constant exposure they have developed improved senses as well as vocabulary to express and discuss their impressions.” Oliver Reichenstein Addressing your shortcomings: Learn, apply, reflect and repeat Paraphrased from: http://ia.net/blog/learning-to-see/
  87. 87. 89 Developing effectiveness and efficiency in your data visualisation work will take time: It is a journey that never stops because data visualisation is a subject that has no ending.
  88. 88. The 7 Hats of Visualisation Design: A 2017 Reboot Andy Kirk andy@visualisingdata.com www.visualisingdata.com @visualisingdata

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