Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What a graphic can tell you

Using graphics to communicate a complex idea ...

"I love looking at things in a new way. More to the point, I love it when I see things about the world that I thought I knew... but then realize there's more to the story.

And for the past few years I've been doing various pieces of research into information visualization--the science and art of making complex information visually perceivable. It's cool, it's fun, and every so often you learn something really, really interesting.

I was just sort of doodling the other day in Powerpoint. (If you must know, I was trying to prepare a talk to give at some university, and I started wondering how many dots you could usefully squeeze onto a Powerpoint slide.)

Now that sounds crazy: doodling in Powerpoint? Yeah, I know. But come to think of it, why not? It's got a bunch of okay tools for drawing and while you probably won't make great art, it's fine for quick sketching. You won't confuse the output with a masterwork in oil or water color, but it's really great for a quick sketch. And it IS the tool I spend a lot of time using, so I've grown pretty accustomed to its idiosyncracies.

So I drew a bunch of dots. Then it hit me--if a dot stood for a day, what would my life look like as a set of dots on the screen?"   continued ...   (Via Creating Passionate Users)

Dots - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics



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