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Journey Maps: Not the end of the story

Have we found another silver bullet for UCD? And remember, the map is not the terrain.

“Journey maps have been around for the better part of a decade – some would argue longer – but it’s really only in the last three or four years that they’ve come into more common use, and more strategists are advocating their use as a framework for improving the customer experience. Without getting into the specifics of what a journey map is or isn’t in this column – there’s no shortage of material on the subject – suffice it to say that many in our field, including me, strongly believe in the potential of journey mapping for helping companies to achieve human-centric business transformations.”

(Ronnie Battista ~ UXmatters)

Taxonomic considerations for node-and-link visualizations (.pdf)

The node and the link, the building blocks of connectivity.

“Data visualization models that are intended to depict considerable sets of interrelated data (including systems designed to process and render big data, particularly those that must reveal unexpected correlations) and data- supported massive-communication toolsets (such as social-network media systems) increasingly rely on presentations that depict relationships through node-and-link diagrams. The challenge of combining these kinds of quantitative and qualitative datasets can be well met with node-and-link diagramming — provided an articulate and consistent modelling method is applied to the task. This paper is a primer on what node-and-link diagrams are, and what kinds naming categories may be derived and assigned in order to make node-and-link diagrams articulate and consistent.”

(William M. Bevington ~ Parsons Journal of Information Mapping Spring 2015)

The next era of designers will use data as their medium

We used to call it Information Visualization of InfoGraphics. What’s in a name.

“The software industry today is in need of a new kind of designer: one proficient in the meaning, form, movement, and transformation of data. I believe this Data Designer will turn out to be the most important new creative role of the next five years.”

(Mark Rolston ~ Wired)

Up and down the ladder of abstraction: A systematic approach to interactive visualization

Abstraction, the core competency for thinking.

“This interactive essay presents the ladder of abstraction, a technique for thinking explicitly about these levels, so a designer can move among them consciously and confidently. I believe that an essential skill of the modern system designer will be using the interactive medium to move fluidly around the ladder of abstraction.”

(Bret Victor a.k.a. @worrydream)

Provide meaning with motion: Why motion design is now a required skill for designers

Another step to use cinematography features into digital design for understanding.”

“Carefully choreographed motion design can effectively guide the user’s attention and focus through multiple steps of a process or procedure; avoid confusion when layouts change or elements are rearranged; and improve the overall beauty of the experience.”

(Paul Stamatiou a.k.a. @Stammy)

The language of dynamic and interactive graphics

A way to make meaning out of big data, content and information.

“This blog post explores if and how the framework for the analysis of static graphics offered by Yuri Engelhardt in his PhD thesis, The language of graphics: A framework for the analysis of syntax and meaning in maps, charts and diagrams (2002), might be usefully extended to become applicable to dynamic and interactive graphics as well. This brief exploration will center on a discussion of one example of a dynamic graphic: Gapminder World.”

(Lucas Reehorst ~ Masters of Media)

Visualizing service design

Visual tools empower all design fields.

“When we speak about a service or a system, an ecosystem or concept, they are a lot of times abstract things. Visualization representation is a way to make them more tangible.”

(Elizabeth Wood ~ frog design mind)

Visualizing Data: Seeing is Believing

How perception of information drives our concepts and the way we think, understand and come up with ideas.

“As humans, our ability to observe and analyse the contents of the world around us is both unique and astonishing, but so too is our capacity to form verbal and visual concepts. These seem to be the principal factors which have worked to our adaptive advantage in competition with other animal species. We are, in one respect at least, superior to other animals because we have developed a greater variety of systems of communication and expression, and one of these is art.”

(Richard Ingram)

The Diagram of Information Visualization

Even business graphics is on the horizon. And that’s not clipart in PPTs.

“In the last ten years, the area of Information Visualization has witnessed an exponential increase in its popularity. Diagrammatic reasoning and visual epistemology are becoming readily accepted methods of research in many academic domains. Concurrently, information graphics and Infovis have grabbed the attention of a larger mainstream audience.”

(Parsons Journal for Information Mapping Volume IV, Issue 4)

How Visuals Can Help Content Strategists Find Their Voice

Visual thinking and communication, the way to tackle many wicked design problems.

“It’s not just clients who are compelled by visuals. Visuals grab everyone’s attention in meaningful, memorable ways, whether we’re trying to influence project managers or CMOs. Content strategists use words to argue our points, yet our colleagues (UX and Creative, and even Project Management) use visuals. We should, too. Not sure how to turn data into information?

(Tosca Fasso a.k.a. @toscafasso ~ SUBTXT)

New Ways of Visualizing the Customer Journey Map

Example of how InfoViz finds its way into Service Design.

“As the field of service design evolves so do the tools. At Adaptive Path we often find ourselves debating the form and definition of service design artifacts.”

(Kim Cullen ~ Adaptive Path)

Expressing UX Concepts Visually

One image, a thousand words. One word, a piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

“It is all too easy to create UX deliverables that are not visually pleasing. But UX expertise encompasses Web design, graphic design, and branding, so why should we be satisfied with mediocre design in our deliverables? When we present our personas, sitemaps, user flows, wireframes, and other design deliverables to our clients and stakeholders, it is our duty and responsibility to create well-designed deliverables.”

(Barnabas Nagy ~ UXmatters)

Hans Rosling: The Jedi Master of data visualization

And who’s Darth Vader of visualization?

“If there is a Jedi Master of presenting data clearly, visually, and simply, then it is Hans. He proves time and time again, that data are not dull-and when you are trying to change the world, there is no excuse for boring presentations.”

(Garr Reynolds a.k.a. @presentationzen ~ Presentation Zen)

How To Think and Communicate Visually

How much information does an image contain? 1.3 Mbyte?

“Visual storytelling is nothing new. We only need to look to the earliest signs of humanity for proof-simple paintings on the walls of caves tell the story that people are a visual tribe.”

(David Armano a.k.a. @armano)
courtesy of latebytes

Visual Storytelling: New Language for the Information Age

Visuals are great, but what about the language it uses, spoken.

“(…) the most compelling work by a new generation of designers, illustrators, graphic editors, and data journalists tackling the grand sensemaking challenge of our time by pushing forward the evolving visual vocabulary of storytelling.”

(Maria Popova a.k.a. @brainpicker ~ Brain Pickings)
courtesy of nicoooooooon

The Information Sage

“Edward Tufte occupies a revered and solitary place in the world of graphic design. Over the last three decades, he has become a kind of oracle in the growing field of data visualization – the practice of taking the sprawling, messy universe of information that makes up the quantitative backbone of everyday life and turning it into an understandable story. His four books on the subject have sold almost two million copies, and in his crusade against euphemism and gloss, he casts a shadow over the world of graphs and charts similar to the specter of George Orwell over essay and argument.” (Joshua Yaffa ~ Washington Monthly) ~ courtesy of jasonkottke

Design Principles for Visual Communication

“Visual communication via diagrams, sketches, charts, photographs, video, and animation is fundamental to the process of exploring concepts and disseminating information. The most-effective visualizations capitalize on the human facility for processing visual information, thereby improving comprehension, memory, and inference. Such visualizations help analysts quickly find patterns lurking within large data sets and help audiences quickly understand complex ideas.” (Maneesh Agrawala, Wilmot Li, and Floraine Berthouzoz ~ CACM)

The Form of Facts and Figures

“The topic of my Master thesis project is the development of a design pattern taxonomy for data visualization and information design. In its core, the project consists of a collection of 55 design patterns that describe the functional aspects of graphic components for the display, behavior and user interaction of complex infographics. The thesis is available in the form of a 200-page book that additionally includes a profound historical record of information design as well as an introduction into the research field of design patterns.” (Christian Behrens)

The Joy of Stats

“An hour-long documentary on statistics and infoviz produced by the BBC. Documentary which takes viewers on a rollercoaster ride through the wonderful world of statistics to explore the remarkable power thay have to change our understanding of the world, presented by superstar boffin Professor Hans Rosling, whose eye-opening, mind-expanding and funny online lectures have made him an international internet legend.” courtesy of jasonkottke