Storytelling, Design &

Data Visualization

February 23, 2017

@maartenzam

VUB, Brussels

simple guides for better communication

Science communication

Think like a journalist

What is important

 

How to make people care

 

How to present it best

Good journalists know

What's your story?

 

How to tell your story?

 

Design and dataviz

What is your story?

I

Problem 1

You know too much

Problem 2

The public doesn't exist

Introducing:

The Message Box

Message box

Keep target audience in mind

 

Don't worry about wording, but use simple language

 

Messages may be long at first, should be short finally

 

Limit messages to 3

 

Is always work in progress

How to tell your story?

II

2016

  • Globally, 0,99°C warmer than mid-20th century
  • Hottest year on record since 1880
  • 3 consecutive years set record
  • Record low sea ice levels

Stories are everywhere

Paintings, newspapers, games, novels, papers, fairytales, television, sports, religion, advertisement, theater, politics, science, poetry, manuals, ...

Through stories, we

Learn

Understand

Remember

Convey ideas

How?

Setting

When?

Where?

Character

WHO?

Cause & effect

WHAT?

Sensemaking

WHy?

Learn from journalism

The Inverted Pyramid

The News

important details

BackgrouND

5 W's, How?

Journalistic reality

Fixed length

Breaking news comes in

'When in doubt, leave things out'

'Cut from the bottom'

You are not your audience

No jargon

 

No letterwords

 

No footnotes

 

Simplify

Make it personal

Personification

Use a narrator

Put the "you" in the headline

Metaphors & catchphrases

'Rainforests are carbon sinks and produce oxygen'

Don't say

but say

'Rainforests are the lungs of the earth'

'Wrong intake of antibiotics could cause resistance in bacteria'

'Too much antibiotics provokes arms race between drugs and microbes'

'Climate Warming and Disease Risk

for Terrestrial and Marine Biota'

'A Warmer World is a Sicker World'

5 W's

Single story

Causal ordering of events

Everyday language

Appaeling, sensory language

Metaphors and catchphrases

Narrator

Put the 'you' in the headline

Make an appeal

Storytelling

Design

III

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away."

- Antoine de Saint Exupéry

"Graphic designers create and combine symbols, images and text to form visual representations of ideas and messages. They use typography, visual arts and page layout techniques to create visual compositions."

- Wikipedia

"Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content isn't design, it's decoration"

- Jeffrey Zeldman

The Grid

Grids

Let you apply the rule of thirds

Align

Organize

Are flexible

Make readable

Let you brake the grid

Can be applied everywhere

Hierarchy

Hierarchy — it’s a big word, but an easy-to-implement (albeit important) concept when it comes to typography. And this guide will show you how to use it to improve your design projects. Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve likely run into typographic hierarchy many times. Just picture a newspaper, with a headline, subheadline, and body copy. This is a classic example of three levels of typographic hierarchy, an approach that’s still used today, both in print and online. Newspapers from the early- to mid-20th century offer especially exaggerated examples, like this one. These days, our headlines or titles don’t have to be six inches tall to catch readers’ attention, but the image above provides a dramatic reminder of just what typographic hierarchy is all about — organizing and formatting your type choices in such a way that readers or users can clearly see what’s most important, which enables them to easily navigate the layout at a glance and quickly scan to find the information they’re looking for.

Hierarchy — it’s a big word, but an easy-to-implement (albeit important) concept when it comes to typography. And this guide will show you how to use it to improve your design projects.

Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve likely run into typographic hierarchy many times. Just picture a newspaper, with a headline, subheadline, and body copy. This is a classic example of three levels of typographic hierarchy, an approach that’s still used today, both in print and online. Newspapers from the early- to mid-20th century offer especially exaggerated examples, like this one.

These days, our headlines or titles don’t have to be six inches tall to catch readers’ attention, but the image above provides a dramatic reminder of just what typographic hierarchy is all about — organizing and formatting your type choices in such a way that readers or users can clearly see what’s most important, which enables them to easily navigate the layout at a glance and quickly scan to find the information they’re looking for.

Hierarchy — it’s a big word, but an easy-to-implement (albeit important) concept when it comes to typography. And this guide will show you how to use it to improve your design projects.

 

Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve likely run into typographic hierarchy many times. Just picture a newspaper, with a headline, subheadline, and body copy. This is a classic example of three levels of typographic hierarchy, an approach that’s still used today, both in print and online. Newspapers from the early- to mid-20th century offer especially exaggerated examples, like this one.

 

Make it scanable

These days, our headlines or titles don’t have to be six inches tall to catch readers’ attention, but the image above provides a dramatic reminder of just what typographic hierarchy is all about — organizing and formatting your type choices in such a way that readers or users can clearly see what’s most important, which enables them to easily navigate the layout at a glance and quickly scan to find the information they’re looking for.

Size

It goes without saying that font size matters: the biggest letters get the most attention.

Weight

Weight

Weight

Space

Space

Space

Typography

Sans serif

Serif      

Serif

STOP

STOP

To avoid

Comic Sans

Papyrus

Hand written

Times New Roman

Arial

A Sans Serif Title

Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability.

Serif Title

Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability.

Serif Title

Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability. Longer text in Serif improves readability.

Color

Colors have feelings

Banana

Tomato

Orange

Grass

Let colors make sense

Be consistent

Rainbows are evil

Make it subtle

Negative space

Hierarchy — it’s a big word, but an easy-to-implement (albeit important) concept when it comes to typography. And this guide will show you how to use it to improve your design projects.

 

Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve likely run into typographic hierarchy many times. Just picture a newspaper, with a headline, subheadline, and body copy. This is a classic example of three levels of typographic hierarchy, an approach that’s still used today, both in print and online. Newspapers from the early- to mid-20th century offer especially exaggerated examples, like this one.

 

Make it scanable

These days, our headlines or titles don’t have to be six inches tall to catch readers’ attention, but the image above provides a dramatic reminder of just what typographic hierarchy is all about — organizing and formatting your type choices in such a way that readers or users can clearly see what’s most important, which enables them to easily navigate the layout at a glance and quickly scan to find the information they’re looking for.

Increases legibility

Guides attention

Grid

Hierarchy

Typography

Color

Negative space

Layout

Data Visualization

IV

"As knowledge increases amongst mankind, and transactions multiply, it becomes more and more desirable to abbreviate and facilitate the modes of conveying information from one person to another, and from one individual to the many."
        

William Playfair, 1786

"Everything that can be expressed in numbers can be represented by lines."
        

John Playfair

Why visualize?

The Secret

Preattentive Processing

868888609462834719714449648
122286651978794222484779908
939340243123007392183390116
351684124962334339709749742
            868888609462834719714449648
122286651978794222484779908
939340243123007392183390116
351684124962334339709749742
            
            
            
            
            
        

10 pitfalls

And how to overcome them

1. Don't cut bars

2. Don't cut time

4. Don't square the pies

5. Label directly

6. Deliberate colors

7. Tell the story

8. Double the axes, double the mischief

And correlation is not causation

9. Don't do 3D

Except when you're the New York Times

10. Avoid the Zones of Invisibility & Irrelevance

Chart Choosers

NL

Thank you!

www.maartenlambrechts.com

@maartenzam

Storytelling, design & visualization

By maartenzam

Storytelling, design & visualization

  • 3,850

More from maartenzam