Sunday, November 15, 2009

More data

My brain has been very much wrapped around visualization of data. To date, I am looking at Google Gapminder. And my brother pointed me to this gem. (You really gotta click to see his lovely diagram.)

David McCandless writes:

* Information needs to be interesting (meaningful & relevant) and have integrity (accuracy, consistency).
* Design needs to have form (beauty & structure) and function (it has to work and be easy to use).

You may disagree. I welcome your input. I may not have got it right.

Something surprised me about doing this though.

In information design, it seems, if you have just two elements, you get something tolerable and cool. i.e.

* integrity + form = eye candy
* interestingness + function = experiment

(I’m not entirely sure about these combos)

But if you combine three elements without the fourth, things suddenly FAIL:

* interesting subject, solid information, looks great, but is hard to use = useless.
* amazing data, well designed, very easy to read but isn’t that interesting = boring

What do you think? This is a work in progress. Can you help me shape this a bit? Have I missed anything?

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