Turn on your

data visualization brain

Anita Lillie

December 8, 2015

Who am I?

  • Previously: Exploratorium, Practice Fusion, LinkedIn, Nokia, MIT Media Lab, Stanford
  • Music, social networks, genetics, healthcare
  • Now: Data/UX Lead at Vida Health

I design and develop data interfaces.

How to think about data stories

Where I find inspiration...

The bulk aisle

Wear on doors

Footsteps after a puddle

Tennis

Tans.

Carnegie Mellon fence

Carnegie Mellon fence

Carnegie Mellon fence

Evidence of something interacting with something else

...leaving its mark.

All of these examples are

Why physical metaphors?

  • Human cognition is built for these physical things.  We see these kinds of patterns easily.
  • Thinking in this way helps you choose visual mappings that make sense.
  • Making something mimic the real world gives it meaning.

What physical metaphors are used here?

What physical metaphors are used here?

Weather in Austin, Texas

What physical metaphors are used here?

A little more abstract...

How can we inform our own visualizations?

Keep things in context

When you get data, don't forget where it came from.

Keep things in context

When you get data, don't forget where it came from.

Keep things in context

Transitions are physical, too

Maintain object permanence as much as possible.

Practice

backwards-engineering naturally-occurring visualizations.

  • You will ask the right questions.
  • You will come up with better data stories.
  • You will tell them in a more intuitive way.

@anitalillie

anitalillie@gmail.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/alillie/

Data vis brain

By Anita Lillie

Data vis brain

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