by Bitsy Hansen
I am frequently asked for advice about using data visualization to solve communication problems that are better served through improved information architecture. A nicely formatted bar chart won’t rescue you from a poorly planned user interface. When designing meaningful data experiences it’s essential to understand the problems your users are trying to solve.
In this case, I was asked to take a look at a global data-delivery platform with a number of issues. How do we appeal to a broad cross-section of business users? How do we surface information to our clients in a useful way? How do we facilitate action, beyond information sharing? How do we measure success?
A user-centered approach allowed us to weave together a more meaningful experience for our business users and usability testing revealed helpful insights about how information sharing and data analysis flows within large organizations.
Data visualization is a powerful tool for revealing simple answers to complex questions, but context is key. User-centered design methods ensure that your audience receives the information they need in a usable and actionable way. Data visualization and user experience practices are not mutually exclusive. They work best when they work together.
28th February to 1st March 2012