Category Archives: Visualisation & Infographics

The Beauty of Mathematics

I love mathematics (don’t ask, I generally keep that quiet)
I love visualisation, and I love this video!
Don’t worry you don’t have to like or know anything about maths to love this
(you need to watch it full screen to appreciate it)

“Mathematics. Rightly viewed, possesses not only truth but beauty. A beauty cold and austere, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music”
Bertrand Russel

Information Visualization Definition

Data: a record of related quantities
Information: organised data
Information Visualisation: schematically represented information

But that only defines what it is, not it’s purpose & why?
Purpose: “to clearly communicate information, stimulating viewer engagement & attention”
Why?: To gain knowledge (meaningfully interpreted information)

There’s a balancing act a creative must perform between form & function, plus they’re influenced heavily by the audience. An infographic is often designed to provoke discussion or promote an idea, so can afford to be more visually rich than a visualisation that’s main objection is analysis.

Personally I define the differences between Infographics and Information Visualisation as:
Infographics: present the viewer with a conclusion or a story
Information Visualisations: give the viewer a means to discover their own conclusions

Second Sight

With more and more of us having a mobile or tablet device within arms reach no matter where we are, you’d think that would give advertisers more opportunities to grab our attention, but the opposite maybe true. With DVR’s we pause live TV and watch it when we want, and more often that not we skip the adverts.

But recent research by Ofcom has found that the living room and live TV is making a surprise come back, with 91% of adults saying they watch TV in their living rooms (up from 88% in 2002), with 25% “Media Meshing” (interacting with the live shows via Twitter, Facebook etc), but most surprising of all is that 90% of TV watched in the living room was live. Although that’s only half the story, as  41% of households have only a single TV now, that’s up from 35% 10 yrs ago (with only 50% of 5-15yr olds now, it was 70% in 2007). While youngsters may now spend more time in the same room, they’re focused on their mobile or tablet device, so they maybe  in close proximity, but they’re no engaging or communicating locally.

Below are some interesting stats collected by the Time Warner Media Lab on the effectiveness of advertising and the second screen.





WiFi Visualisation as You’ve Never Seen it Before

“In order to study the spatial and material qualities of wireless networks, we built a WiFi measuring rod that visualises WiFi signal strength as a bar of lights. When moved through space the rod displays changes in the WiFi signal. Long-exposure photographs of the moving rod reveal cross sections of a network’s signal strength.”

you should follow me on twitter here

Daisy Disk Sunburst UI

I stumbled across this app a few days ago and purchased it, not because I needed or would likely use the app that often, but because I simply loved the User Interface… and while it’s beautifully executed it’s not a case of form over function, this UI is a really elegant solution and works brilliantly… have a look at the video below to see for yourself (they’ve even uploaded the UI development history onto Flickr)

I have no idea what the sales demand of such a utility would be on the Mac platform alone, I don’t think it would be very large, which is a shame as the developers have spent an enormous amount of effort creating a stunning looking app and building a strong brand and identity around it, but it seems to have been abandoned, probably due to lack of sales. It looks like they made the classic mistake of focussing on developing the solution instead of ensuring the problem was big enough to warrant their investment.

Developer: Daisy Disk
UI history on Flickr


The Doctor Will Actually See You Now

A common problem faced by patients, is keeping track of their condition and remembering dates and details when asked for information by a physician. I’d pondered creating a personal visual health diary app in the past, something that prompts a patient to input information about their condition, be it hourly, daily, weekly etc. This data could then be presented to the physician in a visual and interactive way.

And I’m not the only one to think this could be useful, Katie McCruddy, a Myasthenia Gravis sufferer, has kept a detailed diary of her condition from the age of 13, but she is also an interactive designer, so when she was faced with explaining her condition and history to a new physician she thought visualisations would help get the details across quickly and effectively.

To see how effective it was see these posts The Timeline & The Consultation

A Walk on the Wild Side

Seth Godin posted an interesting graphic yesterday that caught my eye, a perfect example of data mining (sorry couldn’t resist that one)

Original Source and Seth’s Post

It’s not that surprising when you think about it, but let’s look at another example, Death Rate by Mode of Transport in the UK… (NB: Flying doesn’t appear, as it’s so low, less than 0.02%). Motorcycles are the unsurprising leader, although the gap between Cars and Motorcycles is frightening! We’re constantly reminded to wear cycle helmets when we’re riding, yet you’re more likely to get killed when walking than when riding a bike! It would be interesting to add Skiing & Snowboarding to this list, but I’ve not been able to find any data on that yet, but I’m looking, if you find anything, let me know. In the meantime, my advice, no more texting or using your mobile while walking, it’s dangerous out there!

Motorcycle: 88.8 / Walking: 30.9 / Bicycle: 24.2 / Car: 1.9 / Van: 0.5 / Bus or coach: 0.1 / Rail: 0.3 / Water: 0.9

original source

you should follow me on twitter here

The World’s Aging Population

You may have worked out by now that I’m a statistics and infographics junkie… so here is a brilliantly executed  interactive infographic that highlights the predicted age by percentage of various nations… as you will see, Japan, South Korea and Italy will have a very different looking population by 2050, compared to today

by Fathom for GE

you should follow me on twitter here