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Data Visualization, Holistic UX, the Modern Browser

By Karsh Hagan | 

Data Visualization, Holistic UX, the Modern Browser

I brought a few things back with me from SXSW  this year: 1- an unquenchable desire for Texas BBQ, 2 – an uncontrollable urge to yell ‘NERD‘ when I see people segway-ing around town wearing google glasses, and 3- a wealth of knowledge and reinvigorated passion to do great digital work!  Below are some of my key takeaways from Austin.

Visually Turning Complexity into Clarity: Illustrating data relationships in compelling, intuitive, and beautiful ways.

Vision of Humanity GPI

Vision of Humanity’s Global Peace Index is the world’s leading measure of national peacefulness, based on 22 indicators.

  • Clarity is key. At first glance, the user should be able to take away key data points and feel an intuitive understanding of your visualization (2 second rule).
  • Example #1: Fernanda Vieagas and Martin Wattenberg, who lead google’s “Big Picture” visualization research group in Cambridge, Massachusetts, created Wind Map to show current surface wind data from the National Digital Forecast Database in an easily digestible visualization. They spoke at SXSW about process, technical hurdles, and key insights gained from building this great visualization.
  • Example #2: Vision of Humanity’s Global Peace Index is the world’s leading measure of national peacefulness. The GPI measures peace according to 22 qualitative and quantitative indicators.

    When thinking tablet first it forces the design to be ‘touch optimized’ rather than ‘touch enabled’ #tabletfirst

Holistic UX

  • Create ubiquitous multi-device experiences, with a balance between utility, usability and beauty.
  • Research and understand your customer first. Then design a holistic experience without regard to device or screen size by sketching and storyboarding elaborate user journeys.
  • “The user is a mobile person – not a mobile device – who moves across screens and devices.” -Christian Crumlish, Cloud On
  • Prototype experiences to uncover design flaws and continually iterate your work.
    Have fun. Do good work. Make money. Build business.

    I created this demo to illustrate a brand new css3 feature called ‘background-clip’ using a gif and webfont.

The UI Capabilities of the Modern Browser

At SXSW, I learned about all of the newest browser features that allow front-end developers to build incredibly rich and immersive experiences on the web. This is one of my favorite new sites, showcasing what we can do with WebGL and the Web Audio API.


Post by: Andrew Baker, Senior Experience Developer at Karsh Hagan

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