Scrunchup interviews Brian Suda on his recently published 5 Simple Steps book that has just been published called Designing with Data.
In an age of high-speed living and info overload, visualized information has incredible potential to help us quickly understand, navigate and find meaning in a complex world.
The use of infographics, data visualisations and information design is a rising trend across many disciplines: science, design, journalism and web. At the same time, daily exposure to the web is creating a incredibly design-literate population. Could this be a new language?
In his session, David will share his passion for this merging of design, information, text and story to unveil some of the interesting, unexpected and sometimes magical things that happen when you visualise data, knowledge and ideas. And, admitting that his book is as full of mistakes as it is successes, he’ll also explore some of the common pitfalls, traps and FAILS that dog this young design form.
Using examples from his book and blog, he’ll share thoughts on what makes a successful information visualisation and journalistic tips, especially for designers, on how to zero in on interesting data and subjects—and how designing information can expose your own biases and change your views about the world. Oh yeah!
David McCandless is a London-based author, data-journalist and information designer, working across print, advertising, TV and web. His design work has appeared in over forty publications internationally including The Guardian and Wired. He champions the use of data visualisations to explore new directions for journalism and to discover new stories in the seas of data surrounding us. His blog and book ‘Information Is Beautiful’ are dedicated to visualising ideas, issues, knowledge and data—all with the minimum of text.
Freud popularised the term, “The Narcissism of Minor Differences”, to describe how adjacent villages—identical for all practical purposes—would struggle to amplify their tiniest distinctions in order to justify how much they despised one other. So you have to guess how much he would have enjoyed design mailing lists. And, Perl.
Truth is, to the untrained (un-washed, un-nuanced, un-Paul-Rand’d, and un-Helvetica’d) outsider, discourse in the design community can sometimes look a lot like a cluster of tightly-wound Freudian villages.
So, how is the role of design perceived by the people who are using the stuff you make? What role (if any) should users expect in the process of how their world is made and remade? What contexts might be useful in helping us turn all of our obsessions into useful and beautiful work?
Can an Aeron chair ever be truly ‘Black’? Will there ever be a way to get Marketing people to stop calling typefaces ‘fonts’? And, when, at last, will the international community finally speak as one regarding the overuse of Mistral and stock photos of foreshortened Asian women?
By leveraging his uniquely unqualified understanding of design, Merlin will propose some promising patterns for fording the gap between end-users and the unhappy-looking people in costly European eyeglasses who are designing their world.
Is there hope? Come to Brighton, pull up a flawlessly-executed mid-century-Modern seating affordance, and we’ll see what we can figure out together. One village to another.
Merlin Mann is best known as the creator of 43folders.com, a popular American website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.