Two appearances from the Strata conference in New York this past September.
I gave an Ignite talk called Visualization Done Wrong. This video has too much of me and not enough of my slides.
Alex Howard interviewed me about my new book Designing Data Visualizations and related topics.
I’ll be giving a three hour data visualization workshop at Strata in Santa Clara in February 2012.
After seeing a poor infographic re-posted, I briefly ranted on twitter:
Terrible presentation of data. The bars are OK, the rest is worthless. http://bit.ly/o76BOm @litmusapp #fb #li
I don’t mean to be harsh, but #infovis culture needs constructive critique to improve, not just reposting. /cc @visualizingOrg @litmusapp
To put my mouse where my mouth (well, keyboard) is, I present two quick & dirty re-drawings, with commentary, of the first two sections of the poor infographic.
In both of these sections, an aesthetically pleasing, but not-very-functional, donut graph has been used. In both cases, it’s the wrong choice, though for different reasons.
I’m thrilled to announce my latest book, Designing Data Visualizations.
The goal of this book is to teach you the process of designing a visualization, presenting the important considerations, and informing the choices that you make. It’s tool-agnostic, and is entirely applicable to visualizations with high and low volumes of data, and to both quantitative and qualitative visualizations.
The origins of my thinking on this topic lie in the work I did on my master’s thesis. This book benefits from an additional five years of experience and research on my part, as well as Julie’s vital insight, knowledge, and contributions.
For this book, we (the authors) are recommending the electronic version over the print version, as that will allow you easy access to updates and revisions as we add more examples and such. Also, the print edition will sadly be only in grayscale, whereas the electronic version will be full-color.
Update: looks like we’ll be providing a full-color download of the images so that people who buy the print edition don’t miss anything.
We’re very excited about this book. We hope you will be too.
I’ll be speaking at Strata NY next week. My main talk is Designing Data Visualizations, on Friday the 23rd at 11:30am.
On Friday at 1pm I’ll be at the O’Reilly booth, signing copies of Beautiful Visualization. Not sure if Designing Data Visualizations will be available in print by then, but if it is, I’ll be signing those too. (You probably want the electronic version of DDV anyway.)
Hope to see you there!
Here’s the podcast and transcript that goes with my virtual seminar on visualization for UIE. In this podcast I talk a lot about basic visualization concepts, with some good Q&A. It’s good foundational material.
This is the video of the talk I gave at sameAs in London on March 28th. It’s about 15 minutes, and is a lighthearted look at good and bad visualization techniques and designs. The audience was about 130 geeks with pints; my slides were being controlled for me. Many thanks to @Kaythaney for inviting me to speak. Enjoy!
SameAs meetup, An evening of visualisation.
Monday 28th March at The Driver, 2-4 Wharfdale Road, Kings Cross, N1 9RY London.
In this talk Noah Iliinsky
Co-author of Beautiful Visualisation.
@Kaythaney & @mza
Chapter One: On Beauty, by Noah Iliinsky
This chapter is an examination of what we mean by beauty in the context of visualization, why it’s a worthy goal to pursue, and how to get there. We’ll start with a discussion of the elements of beauty, look at some examples and counterexamples, and then focus on the critical steps to realize a beautiful visualization.
[I use the words visualization and visual interchangeably in this chapter, to refer to all types of structured representation of information. This encompasses graphs, charts, diagrams, maps, storyboards, and less formally structured illustrations.]
What is Beauty?
What do we mean when we say a visual is beautiful? Is it an aesthetic judgment, in the traditional sense of the word? It can be, but when we’re discussing visuals in this context, beauty can be considered to have four key elements, of which aesthetic judgment is only one. For a visual to qualify as beautiful, it must be aesthetically pleasing, yes, but it must also be novel, informative, and efficient.
For a visual to truly be beautiful, it must go beyond merely being a conduit for information and offer some novelty: a fresh look at the data or a format that gives readers a spark of excitement and results in a new level of understanding. Well-understood formats (e.g., scatterplots) may be accessible and effective, but for the most part they no longer have the ability to surprise or delight us. Most often, designs that delight us do so not because they were designed to be novel, but because they were designed to be effective; their novelty is a byproduct of effectively revealing some new insight about the world. keep reading…
This year I’ll be presenting at the Web App Master’s Tour, along with many other brilliant folks. Come see us in Philadelphia March 21-22, Seattle May 23-24, or Minneapolis June 27-28.
Save $100 off the current price by using the discount code WAMT11. That plus the early bird savings is worth $300 total off of the the standard price.
I look forward to seeing you there!