Wednesday, 21 October 2015

50 Shades of Data

Matt Francis

1666 Isaac Newton was looking at Optics when he discovered the Spectrum. Split out 7 colours, he chose 7 as there are 7 musical notes.

This led to the idea of the colour wheel. This developed in to colour theory.

Colour is a fantastic tool.

Las Vegas uses colour to draw your attention to suck the money out of your pockets.

Colour theory: 3 primary colours (fundamental). The colour wheel helps us pick complimentary colours. Complimentary colours are those that are on the opposite side of the colour wheel. Orange & Blue contrast nicely. Used in film posters a lot sun / sky.

When picking colours you have to be careful about the perception of colour. Colour should always enhance the visualisation.

People see colours differently. Should we use Red / Green? We understand Red is Bad and Green is Good. MF’s says yes you can use it. If you use it for yourself but if it goes public then you should avoid it. You can use high contrasting colour.

Use to check your visualisations for colour blind tests. Stepped colour makes it easier to use as tone can be distinguished.

Colour has associations and so can act as a short cut. Colour is one of the first things we see so those associations happen before we have read the content.

Colour highlighting has two types: 1 Biased highlighting (something is wrong) and 2 Impartial highlighting (interesting)

Colour can be used to bring emotions out. Downward bar chart to show gun deaths. Make it red and it adds the emotional element.

Colour Themes – Matt’s viz about fast food calorific content was perfected through colour choice. 

The colour matches the theme. Chart colours need to fit the theme and relate well to the theme of the overall dashboard. – upload an image and it lets you select a colour palette. Add these to your custom colour palettes in you preferences file (My Docs > My tableau Repository > Preference.tps)

Colour theory gets us 90% of the way there but we should play with colour too

Using the medium default colour palette is a nice tip to avoid overly contrasting colours.   

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