IXD304 – Week Nine: Amplifying Data

In today’s class, Kyle talked about data, and the importance of it in today’s world.

Companies that we know and use everyday, such as Facebook and Instagram, are all free to use. The exception is, they are taking your data, and using that to make their products better for the users.

Data is everywhere:

  • Migration figures
  • Reference
  • Election
  • Pay scales

During Covid-19, the public became obsessed with data. Everyday, people would check the statistics on covid cases and deaths, per country and location, and compare this data with data from other countries. In a time of crisis, people turn to data because they find solace in facts.

People in work or looking for work would want to look up national minimum wage, in order to see what pay they would be owed.

This data is displayed in a grid, but what if it was portrayed in a different way? Bar charts, pie charts, line charts. These are all visual representations of data. In order to intrigue your audience, this method may be more useful. However, I feel that the grid method is the most useful way of portraying the national minimum wage, as you want a clear answer written out with numbers alone.

We looked at the work of David McCandless. He is a British information designer, who creates interesting and stunning visualisations of data. He has created a series of weekly data packs portraying the events of covid as they happened. It was a website used only to display data of the global Covid-19 cases, deaths, and other factors such as lockdown restrictions and activities being lost.

I really like this idea of keeping track of the Covid-19 pandemic as it happened, as this allowed users to visit the site every week and see the various updates that had occurred during that week, and any important updates which they may have missed, as each week during the pandemic seemed to move rapidly and it was hard to keep track of everything going on. I’m sure this site proved to be very useful for its users.

Kyle showed us this really interesting website, which shows you in great detail every single step taken during the Apollo 11 mission, including images, sound files, and transcripts. The website is https://apolloinrealtime.org/11/. I thought it was really cool to see each step taken by the crew, and how each second was important during that mission.

There are six main principles in any chart design:

  1. Be honest
  2. Lend a helping hand
  3. Delight users
  4. Give clarity of focus
  5. Embrace scale
  6. Provide structure

Kyle was showing us a useful tool called Chart.js, which you can use to incorporate data and charts into Webflow.


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