Two of my colleagues, Anh Dang and Nirali Patel, are going to be speaking at a conference called IxDA Interaction 08 in a few weeks. We recently had a preview of their presentation, called Designing Information. I don’t want to give too much away, for those that may be attending the conference, but I really enjoyed hearing about it because it converged nicely with my own interests.
The aim of their talk is to discuss their point of view on how to present data in a way that’s meaningful - not just cool or interesting looking. There are some sites that present really beautiful infographics, but they don’t necessarily tell you anything. More suitable for hanging on the wall than for providing illuminating knowledge or understanding. I think that’s just wasteful.
I’m not a designer, myself, so in my line of work I generally collaborate with someone who is. Ideally, I bring insight on the full range of data and the story that it wants to tell, and the IA or designer has the tools and techniques to make that story come to life. Anh and Nirali have a great perspective on the thought processes, insights, and strategies needed to make those techniques really work, and I’m glad to see them contributing their ideas to the discussion.