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The name Complex Diagrams is drawn from my master’s thesis, which is all about how to design effective, qualitative diagrams with non-trivial levels of complexity.

About Noah
I’m a visualization and information designer, UX architect, author, and speaker, with a strong foundation in UX. I’m interested in making knowledge accessible, and building better knowledge-sharing tools and platforms. I have experience with product definition and team leadership.

Things I enjoy

  • Good problems to solve: I crave ongoing intellectual challenge.
  • Impact & benefit: I like to build things that are helpful and educational.
  • An environment that supports excellent performance: I enjoy empowered teams, enthusiastic collaboration, and structured mentoring and career development.

Noah Iliinsky strongly believes in the power of intentionally crafted communication. He has spent the last decade researching, writing, and speaking about best practices for designing visualizations, informed by his professional experience developing software, undergraduate work in the sciences, and graduate work in user experience and interaction design. He is a frequent speaker and instructor in both industry and academic contexts.

His designs and trainings have been used by organizations including AWS, Barclay’s Wealth, Boeing, Corbis, The CIA, The Gates Foundation, IBM, O’Reilly Media, Qualtrics, UIE, and VMware.

He is the author of Designing Data Visualizations, and the technical editor of, and a contributor to, Beautiful Visualization, both published by O’Reilly Media.


M.S. Technical Communication, University of Washington. Thesis: Generation of Complex Diagrams: How to Make Lasagna Instead of Spaghetti

B.A. Physics, Reed College. Thesis: Electron-Hole Pair Recombination Rates in an Irradiated Silicon Semiconductor

I live in Seattle.

gmail: iliinsky
My résumé (PDF)
My author pages at O’Reilly media and Amazon

@noahi on Twitter
Noah Iliinsky on LinkedIn

Thanks, Noah Iliinsky

(yes, that’s i L i i nsky, not ilinsky or illinsky or illinski or…
It’s pronounced eel-YIN-ski)

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  1. Hi Noah – Thanks for posting at Tableau’s site. Hope to catch up sometime soon. Please drop me a note at your convenience. Thanks. Elissa

    Comment by Elissa Fink — June 18, 2008 @ 6:30 am

  2. Hello Noah,

    I know you’re fan of Mac. But I would be interested in getting your opinion (benchmarking?) about our new software : BeGraphic.

    It is a Excel addin that changes any form/picture based on live data, therefore builds dynamic diagrams.


    Comment by Claire — May 29, 2009 @ 5:06 am

  3. Thank you for you work on diagrams blog. Have not seen many like this in internet.

    Comment by Новостройки Чехии — June 8, 2009 @ 4:12 am

  4. Hi, Noah —
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoy your work and am looking forward to seeing the book in April. Best regards.

    Comment by Carrie Weiner Campbell — December 31, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

  5. Noah, thanks for the Ignite talk on buying bikes last night!

    Here’s a new shop to put on your radar:


    Our Name

    Hub and Bespoke is a place for people to meet and share ideas. We’re also curators of elegant solutions to common cycling challenges. “Hub” alludes to the hope that our business will bring people together. “Bespoke” refers to understanding our customer’s specific needs as a cyclist and community member.

    Our Philosophy

    As cyclists ourselves, we’re familiar with the joys and challenges of riding a bike in the city. One thing we’ve noticed is that people often think cycling is reserved for the athletic, the stout-hearted or the über hip. At Hub and Bespoke, we think there’s a lot more room on the playground for others to join in the fun.

    Cycling has a ton of potential for normal, everyday transportation, and we want to support those who make the choice to cycle just to get from A to B. We’ve put a lot of thought into the products we carry to make sure they not only look good, but also work well on a bike. In short, we can help you bike your style.

    Comment by jessie alan — June 15, 2010 @ 10:54 am

  6. […] Stefaner. The full quote “Position is everything, color is difficult” is especially promoted by Noah Iliinsky (co-author of the books Designing Data Visualizations and Beautiful Visualization) in different […]

    Pingback by “Color is difficult” | Masters of Media — March 20, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

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