Drew Skau – ScribbleLive http://www.scribblelive.com ScribbleLive is the leading end-to-end platform for content marketing engagement. Tue, 26 Jul 2016 19:49:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://s3.amazonaws.com/scribblelive-com-prod/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/favicon-91x80.png Drew Skau – ScribbleLive http://www.scribblelive.com 32 32 Exploring the Perception of Bar Charts http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2015/05/28/exploring-perception-bar-charts/ Thu, 28 May 2015 16:00:07 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2015/05/28/exploring-perception-bar-charts/ The world of infographics has produced a race between designers. The Internet is flooded with hundreds of infographics every day, so those graphics with good design and novelty features have a big leg up against competition in the race for eyeballs. Often this prioritizes design above other traditional goals of Read more...

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The world of infographics has produced a race between designers. The Internet is flooded with hundreds of infographics every day, so those graphics with good design and novelty features have a big leg up against competition in the race for eyeballs. Often this prioritizes design above other traditional goals of data visualization, and charts get tweaked and embellished. This makes them more eye catching and more memorable (PDF), but what about accuracy?
USA Ice Cream Consumption

When designers turn a bar into a triangle, round the corners, or add a shape to the ends, they have an impact on how our perceptual system is taking in the bar chart’s information. But our knowledge of how well bar charts work is all based on standardized bar charts with sharp corners and rectangular bars. Without a complete understanding of how these chart changes impact the chart’s ability to communicate, we can’t be confident that infographics are still doing a good job of informing. embellishment-cases-660x595@2x We decided to test this through a user study exploring how accurately embellished bar charts communicate their data. The user study targeted a set of six different embellishments that occur commonly throughout infographics, testing them all against a standard baseline bar chart. There are two main tasks that we tested: interpreting the exact value of a single bar, and interpreting the relative value between two bars.

  Four out of six embellished charts performed worse than the standard bar chart at communicating their data. We found that triangular bars, overlapping triangles, quadratically increasing triangles, bars with rounded ends and bars with caps all performed significantly worse when comparing between bars. For telling the absolute value, quadratically increasing triangles performed significantly worse, with triangular bars, overlapping triangles and bars with rounded ends also performing worse, although the difference is not statistically significant. Capped bars may be okay for absolute comparison tasks, and bars that extend below the x-axis performed roughly equivalently to the standard bar chart. If you’re interested in the full results, you can check out the paper here. This doesn’t mean that these changes to charts are always a bad thing. Infographics serve many goals, and, as with all design, these goals must all be balanced against each other to find the best end result. The results of this research let designers know the implications of their embellishment choices, and should help them balance these choices against an infographic’s goals. This research was done by Drew Skau, Lane Harrison, and Robert Kosara. Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visually and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure

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Datylon Gives Designers Access to D3.js in Adobe Illustrator http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2015/02/20/datylon-giving-designers-access-d3-js-adobe-illustrator/ Fri, 20 Feb 2015 19:00:44 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2015/02/20/datylon-giving-designers-access-d3-js-adobe-illustrator/ Visually is committed to helping designers find and use great information design tools. We believe that a well prepared design community helps raise the quality of design work for everyone. In the past, web-based charting technologies have been out of reach for designers who didn’t know how to write javascript. Read more...

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Visually is committed to helping designers find and use great information design tools. We believe that a well prepared design community helps raise the quality of design work for everyone. In the past, web-based charting technologies have been out of reach for designers who didn’t know how to write javascript. This means designers with less tech savvy can have a hard time creating more complex charts and data visualizations. But those days may now be in the past. Belgium-based data storytelling startup Datylon has created a plug-in for Creative Cloud versions of Adobe Illustrator on Mac OS X that lets Illustrator users work with any SVG charts built with javascript. This includes charts built with D3.js, and the Highcharts library, with other sources coming. pies This alone would open up a multitude of possibilities, but it gets even better. The design components of the charts are easily available to the user to customize, even while the data is still modifiable. On top of that, Datylon built an online app where designs can be published. Their online platform allows the data to be edited in a completed design, even without access to Adobe Illustrator – a powerful feature for periodic reports. Designs published online can also pull data from a URL to a CSV or JSON file so that data can be kept up to date every time a design is loaded. “Datylon focuses on the last mile of the data supply chain,” said Datylon CEO and co-founder Erik Laurijssen. “Our platform helps users convert data insights into visually attractive stories that can easily be shared to boost information dissemination and understanding.” online-app With that goal in mind, the plug-in currently supports the following charts:
  1. Pie charts
  2. Donut charts
  3. Bar charts
  4. Column charts
  5. Icon charts
  6. Text
  7. World choropleth maps
  8. US choropleth maps
  9. Circular bar charts
  10. Area and Line charts
  11. Stacked Icon charts
  12. Icon Column charts
  13. Highcharts’ set of charts
  14. Highmaps’ set of maps

The Datylon plug-in has just come out of closed beta testing, so it’s available to use now! Get a trial version of the plug-in here, and preliminary documentation is available here. You can reach out to Datylon on Twitter, or follow them for updates @Datylon. Datylon has potential to bring more complex data visualizations and a better process to all types of visual communicators. We hope to see its tool offerings continue to grow as information designers adopt the platform! Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visually and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure

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Hand Drawn Cartography Lives! Announcing The Atlas of Design Volume 2 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2015/02/06/hand-drawn-cartography-lives-announcing-atlas-design-volume-2/ Fri, 06 Feb 2015 19:00:02 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2015/02/06/hand-drawn-cartography-lives-announcing-atlas-design-volume-2/ In a world where maps are available to us at any moment, and so widely used that we hardly think twice about them, the art of cartography may seem to have been relegated to a few engineers and product designers working on global mapping systems. We’re happy to say that Read more...

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In a world where maps are available to us at any moment, and so widely used that we hardly think twice about them, the art of cartography may seem to have been relegated to a few engineers and product designers working on global mapping systems. We’re happy to say that custom cartography is still alive and well, giving us all a unique perspective on the world we live in. Just under a year ago, we ran a post calling for submissions to the Atlas of Design. The North American Cartographic Information Society got about 300 submissions from 23 countries, and they collected the top 32 entries into a gorgeous book of maps. sneakpeak1 The map styles run the gamut from hand drawn illustrations to digitally generated maps clearly showing a dataset. AoD-ToC The book includes overview images of each map as well as zoomed in pages showing full details of the beautiful work that went into these maps. Each map has commentary from the map’s creator, putting the map into context, and guiding the reader to a deeper understanding of the work. sneakpeak4 Sales of the Atlas of Design benefit the not-for-profit North American Cartographic Information Society, a professional organization for mapmakers and map librarians, which promotes the advancement of cartographic science and design, as well as map knowledge and education. MBTA Bus Speeds — Andy Woodruff   Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visually and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure

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7 Cardinal Sins Of Chartmaking http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2015/01/07/7-cardinal-sins-of-chartmaking/ Wed, 07 Jan 2015 19:00:38 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2015/01/07/7-cardinal-sins-of-chartmaking/ Charts are undeniably powerful tools for communication, but with great power comes great responsibility. Chart makers should be careful with their power and ensure they are using proper practices when creating charts. These Seven Cardinal Sins are sure to miscommunicate your data and are easy things to avoid. 1. Cropped Read more...

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Charts are undeniably powerful tools for communication, but with great power comes great responsibility. Chart makers should be careful with their power and ensure they are using proper practices when creating charts. These Seven Cardinal Sins are sure to miscommunicate your data and are easy things to avoid.

1. Cropped Axes

Context in charts is one of the most important visual cues we have when interpreting them. When you remove that context by cropping an axis, you destroy the context of the data. Sometimes it is necessary to show a detailed view of data, but in those cases, start with the overview and use a second chart for the focus. Overview-Focus

2. Unnecessary 3D

3D charts definitely look cool, we can all agree on that. The problem is, 3D effects really distort the data in the chart. Perspective and parallax effects cause angles to be distorted and heights to be misread. Avoid 3D charts at all costs. Angle distortion in 3D Pie charts.

3. Part-to-Whole charts that don’t add up to 100%

One of the most egregious chart mistakes is a chart that has a part to whole relationship that doesn’t add up to a logical whole. Pie charts, stacked area charts, or stacked bar charts are a few examples of charts with a part to whole relationship. When these charts are used for percentage data and that data doesn’t add up to a total of 100%, the whole chart doesn’t make sense. X-Pie-Totals

4. Poor Labeling

In standalone charts, axes are almost always labeled, however when designers start making charts for infographics, they often remove the labels. The axes of a chart are really key to understanding what the chart shows. When numerical values or units are missing from a chart axis, the rest of the chart is mostly useless. This also applies to diagrams. Designers sometimes use label lines as decorative elements, and this can lead to some pretty confusing diagrams. label-diagram

5. Radial Charts

Cartesian charts are much more in keeping with our mental models and organization of the world. Rectangular shapes the primary form for everything from packaging to architecture. Even our writing happens in Cartesian space. Radial charts look cool, but they make the data much harder to read. Keep your charts rectangular and show that data off. RadialChartsLabeled

6. Poor Color Scales

If your chart uses color scales to help show data, you need to pick those colors very carefully. Rainbow color scales might be colorful and attention grabbing, but they can hide data features and make other features appear where there are none. Red-green color scales are useless for many colorblind males, and there are plenty of other scales that just don’t visualize data well. When you’re creating a color scale, make sure you design it with clear communication in mind. HSL

7. Overloaded Charts

Charts can be thought of kind of like a display case for data. They can do a good job of showing it off and helping people understand what is there, but they can only hold so much before they become overwhelming. An overstuffed chart makes it easy to miss certain parts of the data, and the details disappear. Keep the amount of data in your charts to reasonable quantities. Bar Avoiding these charting sins still won’t guarantee you have an excellent infographic or chart, but it does get you much closer. There are other things to watch out for to avoid making bad infographics. We also don’t want to discourage designer creativity, but we do want to make sure the ultimate goal is clear and accurate communication. Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visually and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure

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14 Of 2014’s Best Information Designers and Animators http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/12/30/14-2014s-best-information-designers-animators/ Tue, 30 Dec 2014 19:00:09 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/12/30/14-2014s-best-information-designers-animators/ In the past few years, information design has been blossoming into a full industry. In 2014, designers and animators that specialize in information design were in higher demand than we have ever seen. Here are 14 of the top infographic designers and animators from 2014. 1. Lisa Mahapatra uses simple Read more...

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In the past few years, information design has been blossoming into a full industry. In 2014, designers and animators that specialize in information design were in higher demand than we have ever seen. Here are 14 of the top infographic designers and animators from 2014. 1. Lisa Mahapatra uses simple charts with great angles on interesting data. She excels at finding and showing the real story in data in a crystal clear, but entertaining manner.

  2. Ghergich excels at explaining slightly more complex issues. Sometimes a simple chart isn’t enough to show a process, and that’s when Ghergich’s beautiful and unique illustrative styles are useful.
Deforestation: Our Disappearing Woodlands

How to Build a Fire

  3 & 4. David Wildish and Steve Wildish are two brothers that both do fantastic illustrations. A great eye for design must run in the family, because they both produce beautifully iconic representations of the world around them. David has an eye for pop culture, distilling it all down to crisp and clean illustrations.
Screen Machines

Screen Wheels

  Steve has a great sense of humor, and has created quite a few classics fit for framing.
Magical White Beards, Powers by length

That

  5. Combining illustrations with data is a truly impressive skill, and not many do it better than Jacob Hernandez. His illustrative style ranges from realistic to diagrammatic, but it is always effective.

  6. Sometimes a designer’s work is driven by their love of a subject. That is clearly true for Lou Spirito in his great baseball-focused graphics.

  7. Some stories are best told with a simple map. Simran Khosla does a great job with simple colors and text on world maps to show cultural and economic differences around the world.
The World

World Commodities Map

  8. Alissa Scheller also does great infographics focused on simple charts showing data in interesting ways. This skill-set is core to information design, and Alissa is a the top of the pack.
The Most Water-Consuming States Are The Ones In Drought

  9 & 10. Animated infographics have become even more popular since many social media platforms have added support for them. Elanor Lutz and Jake O’Neal have both been pioneers in the medium. Elanor’s graphics focus on biological processes and other scientific subjects.

  Jake’s graphics address a range of cool topics, and all of them are better as animations than as still graphics.

  11. Full animation is a difficult discipline as it requires great timing, an ear for good audio, and still needs a good sense of design. Jot Reyes excels at all of these with Hollywood quality special effects to boot.

 

  12. Philipp Dettmer is another superb animator. Philipp’s style is clean and simple, and he does a fantastic job with visually explaining complex processes.

 

  13. In animation, clever transitions and animations of static elements are a key way to keeping an audience engaged and entertained. Stef Prein does a fantastic job with transitions and animations in all of his work.

 

  14. Being nimble enough to create completely different moods with animation is an impressive skill. Andrew Davies has this ability to change the atmosphere of his animations depending on the needs of the topic.

 

Visually is full of a plethora of great information designers and animators producing beautiful work that helps to explain and visualize the world’s information. There are plenty of talented people from 2014 not exhibited here, and we hope to see plenty more in 2015. Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visually and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure

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Listing Physical Visualizations http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/11/07/listing-physical-visualizations/ Fri, 07 Nov 2014 19:00:58 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/11/07/listing-physical-visualizations/ The vast majority of visualizations we experience in our lives come from the digital world. On rare occasion, they are printed out on a piece of paper, but even then, they are two dimensional. Even more rarely, visualizations are created in the three dimensional physical world. Yvonne Jansen and Pierre Read more...

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The vast majority of visualizations we experience in our lives come from the digital world. On rare occasion, they are printed out on a piece of paper, but even then, they are two dimensional. Even more rarely, visualizations are created in the three dimensional physical world. CloudGraphic Yvonne Jansen and Pierre Dragicevic have been working hard on developing and evaluating methods for visualizing data in the physical world. Their recent work on physical 3D bar charts shows that making things tangible has an advantage over digital 3D and even 2D visualizations. One part of evaluating the physical world as a place for visualizations to exist is to look at the history of tangible visualizations. Reckoning_Before_Writing_Bulla_01 They have been compiling a list of physical objects and installations that show data in some way. This list ranges from as early as 5500 BC all the way up to present day. The list just reached 100 entries, with a wide range of sophistication in the objects, ranging from handmade clay all the way up to 3D laser etched objects and computer controlled actuated canvases. 5416550501_5858610deb The list is great to browse through, both as a historical reference, and as possible inspiration for visualizations both digital and physical. As 3D printing, milling, plasma cutting, laser cutting, actuated displays, and pipe bending techniques get more sophisticated, the boundary between digital data and physical visualizations will continue to get easier to cross. Lists like this help to establish what techniques already exist, and which areas have plenty of room for exploration.   Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visually and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure

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Best American Infographics 2014 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/10/14/best-american-infographics-2014/ Wed, 15 Oct 2014 01:13:15 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/10/14/best-american-infographics-2014/ Last year, The Best American Infographics book was a sweeping success because of its beautiful graphics, informative data visualizations, and great design. At first glance, this year’s edition promises to be just as great with an introduction by Nate Silver and a beautiful cover by Carl DeTorres. The book goes Read more...

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Last year, The Best American Infographics book was a sweeping success because of its beautiful graphics, informative data visualizations, and great design. At first glance, this year’s edition promises to be just as great with an introduction by Nate Silver and a beautiful cover by Carl DeTorres. The book goes on sale today at a whole host of book stores. BAI2014Cover As the name states, the book covers some of the best infographics of 2014 covering a range of topics from soccer to the history of English. The book’s author, Gareth Cook, will be giving a book talk at Boston College on Tuesday, October 21. If you’re in the area, feel free to drop by to hear an informative talk about the origins of infographics and how they help drive visual thinking today.   Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visually and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure

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How Audio Can Help Communicate Time Data http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/10/10/communicating-time-data-with-auralization/ Fri, 10 Oct 2014 17:00:15 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/10/10/communicating-time-data-with-auralization/ Data Visualization is a great way to show off your data. It reveals patterns and trends, and can grab attention better than a table of numbers. But vision isn’t the only sense we can use to get a feel for data. Hearing can also be a great way to input Read more...

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Data Visualization is a great way to show off your data. It reveals patterns and trends, and can grab attention better than a table of numbers. But vision isn’t the only sense we can use to get a feel for data. Hearing can also be a great way to input data into our brains. In our brain, visuals are processed extremely quickly, and we are in control of the order that we look at things. Good design helps to guide the eye through a layout, helping to ensure that people get the experience that the creator wants. Without a clear visual hierarchy, every viewer’s experience will vary widely, and many things will be seen out of order. Even with a good design, people take different amounts of time at each portion of the visual, so a consistent timeline is impossible to guarantee. Audio, however, has to be experienced linearly through time. The sounds a user hears happen in the same order and at the same temporal intervals as anyone else listening to the same audio. This can be good for creators because they can be certain about that part of the user’s experience. This makes audio similar to animation in some ways. It means that assigning data to the temporal aspect of audio can be a good way to communicate it to someone. Time is an extremely strong part of how we experience the world, and since audio is experienced linearly through time, it makes sense to assign data’s time variables to the duration of tones or silence in audio. This is exactly the method that most auralizations or sonifications use. Some approaches collapse the timescale so that we experience a long period of data in a short timespan. The collapsed timeline helps Feeling the Crunch of the Deadline make us feel the fervor of work as deadlines approach and people begin devoting all of their time toward their submissions:
Feeling the Crunch of the Deadline

Collapsed time also makes The US Open Sessions much more digestible. The artistic recap’s summarized views lack the complete action that a full game has, and focus only on moments that change a player’s standing in the match, so condensing the timescale helps keep the recaps entertaining.

The US Open Sessions: Music Made With Tennis Data

Sometimes it’s more important to preserve a timeline exactly. The New York Times opted to preserve the timescale at the end of their video on Usain Bolt’s Gold in the 100 Meter Sprint. This helps communicate how close each winner of the 100 meter sprint has been to the other winners through the years. For events that are going on right now, it also makes sense to keep the timescale the same. That helps show the real frequency of events, like how often someone makes an edit to Wikipedia.

Listen to Wikipedia

Expanding a timeline to make it longer is also possible, however the use cases for that are far less common. Usually when events happen with rapid succession, the important thing to communicate is how rapidly they happened, so it doesn’t make sense to slow them down. Overall, when the temporal spacing of events is important, auralization can be an effective communication method. Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visually and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure

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Accidental Meaning In Graphic Design http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/09/18/accidental-meaning-graphic-design/ Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:00:58 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/09/18/accidental-meaning-graphic-design/ Spoken and written language are incredible tools for humanity. They let us efficiently communicate concepts to each other, coordinate activities, and generally work together more effectively. But an important part of keeping language effective is having standards that everyone recognizes. Dictionaries give us a vocabulary to work from and they Read more...

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Spoken and written language are incredible tools for humanity. They let us efficiently communicate concepts to each other, coordinate activities, and generally work together more effectively. But an important part of keeping language effective is having standards that everyone recognizes. Dictionaries give us a vocabulary to work from and they standardize the meanings and spellings of words. Grammar books set up the rules of our language to help us avoid unintentional ambiguity and keep misunderstandings from happening.

Visual Language Standards

In the same way, dictionaries and grammar rules have been set up for verbal language, visual language also has standards. Arguably, the two most important of these for charts commonly seen in graphic design are the Semiology of Graphics, and the ISOTYPE standard. Jacques Bertin’s Semiology of Graphics sets up a series of visual techniques that can be used to communicate information. The book focuses on graphics on maps, but also includes techniques for many common chart types. The ISOTYPE standard provides a sort of iconic language, and guidelines for how to use those icons to represent quantitative information. ISOTYPE does set up rules for using icons on maps and to represent data, however it does not address common chart types.

Visual Typos

There are plenty of people writing things that unknowingly don’t follow grammar rules, or even accidentally make up words and spell things incorrectly. We have built tools like spellcheck or grammar checkers to help avoid some of the more basic infractions. There are still many phrases that can have multiple meanings, and for these, automated tools aren’t enough. A good copy editor can go a long way toward spotting these dual meanings and removing them if they cause problems. Visual languages don’t have automated checking systems yet, so the graphic design field is left to fend for itself. Designers should be heavily proof-viewing their work, and they should share it with others who are trained to look with a critical eye. When designers unknowingly use something that looks like a chart, they can confuse the intended message, or even change it outright.

Visual Accidents

When a graphic design with an accidental meaning makes it to print, there can be rather embarrassing results. Here are five examples of poorly proofed graphic design with accidental meanings. 1. Venn diagrams are fairly common, and the simplest of them are usually represented with two circles overlapping. They often use transparency to reveal the area that overlaps. This design uses transparent circles that overlap, but it was never intended to be a Venn diagram. tumblr_nanwxmWNw81sgh0voo1_1280   2. It’s a great idea to rank things in order. It can help to structure information and point out patterns. But when you have quantitative data, and you rank it with something that looks like a bar chart, you misrepresent the data. An ordered bar chart would have accomplished ranking and visually communicated quantity. tumblr_nairkmPyR41sgh0voo1_1280   3. Using lines to help a person follow a flow through a design is a good idea, but when you add points on the line and a rectangular background, it turns into a line chart. Add the context of the subject matter, and you end up with a thoroughly confusing chart thing. tumblr_n8ena9wTFb1sgh0voo1_1280   4. Winner’s podiums are pretty common in our culture, so it makes sense to use them to rank the top three in a category. Unfortunately, pairing them with quantitative data in the context of an infographic can make them look like a bar chart with inaccurate quantities. tumblr_n8en0erUC21sgh0voo1_1280   5. Bar charts can seem bland sometimes, so making them radial can seem like a good idea (even though radial charts are not as good as cartesian). Unfortunately, radial bar charts look a lot like donut charts. Donut charts have a part to whole relationship, so when you use with percentages, you expect the percentages to line up with 100% equivalent to the whole donut, 75% equivalent to three quarters, etc. tumblr_n7u9vfqbU31sgh0voo1_1280   Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visually and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure

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Metrico: The Infographic Inspired Video Game http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/08/22/metrico-infographic-inspired-game/ Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:00:43 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/08/22/metrico-infographic-inspired-game/ Video games have had data visualizations built into them for a long time. They are there to provide the players with information about what is going on in the game, or post-game statistics. In Roller Coaster Tycoon for example, the data visualizations helped players make informed decisions about roller coaster Read more...

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Video games have had data visualizations built into them for a long time. They are there to provide the players with information about what is going on in the game, or post-game statistics. RollerCoaster1 In Roller Coaster Tycoon for example, the data visualizations helped players make informed decisions about roller coaster design, or track park expenditures and balance their budget. This approach helps players to get better at the game and provides some interesting interfaces for players to explore. metrico_animation Digital Dreams has taken a different approach to integrating data visualizations with Metrico. They have built a game set entirely in an infographic world. The puzzle platformer looks a little bit like what an infographic designer’s dreams (or maybe nightmares) must look like when they have an impending deadline. The game is based on a simple principle: player movements can also cause changes in the game level. For example, jumping multiple times can cause a platform to extend, or changing x position can cause a wall to grow taller. All of this occurs in a environment that looks like the charts in an infographic, so the data going into the charts comes from the player’s actions. Metrico looks like lots of fun, unfortunately it is exclusive to the PS Vita, Sony’s floundering handheld platform. The game’s mechanics are interesting, and the levels are beautiful so we hope Digital Dreams gets an opportunity to bring a version of the game to other more widespread platforms.   Drew Skau is Visualization Architect at Visually and a PhD Computer Science Visualization student at UNCC with an undergraduate degree in Architecture. You can follow him on Twitter @SeeingStructure

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