Wednesday, 4 July 2018

TC18 - Questioning your marks

Neil Richards - HESA

Zen doesn’t mean technical impossibility

What constitutes a Viz?
Tableau means a picture of a scene - a nice way to look at the overview of a Viz
A framework, one or more visual encodings, annotations

What are the Marks?
The actual representations of your data - ie the Visual Vocabulary from the Financial Times
Removing annotations and axis titles makes most data visualisation useless

What is data Viz consumption?
Does the Viz need to be consumed in 2 seconds?
Really, the fast element is important but don’t ignore the ‘longer term learnings’ that your consumer should be able to be deduced from your work

How important are titles?
Remove them and find out!
Be careful with screenshots as people will often chop titles
Not just titles but also add short descriptions to add more depth or detail for new consumers

What is White Space?
Defined as the bit that isn’t showing data (it doesn’t have to be white)
Data to Ink ratio - what you are using to show the information vs all ink showed on the page. Ie remove any unnecessary elements

Is white space always your friend?
Remove obvious axis titles (years) and just leave the scale
Use colour in your title to remove colour legends
Reduce the darkness of non-data elements to push the detail in to the background

What makes a visualisation memorable?
This is changing over time - style and tools change over time
Intrigue leads to insight (Beaumont) - make people curious
Chart junk can add to memory as it can create a more unique style

How can you make best use of annotations and labels?
Annotations can add to pinpointing insight but also adding more clarity
Empty space can make strong, clear messages with the absence of data

How important is self review and feedback?
Very - especially when you are challenging the normal conventions

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