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/ @VickeKaravanVicke Cheung
How Visualising Data Helps Us See
Designing
Creative Content
We create pieces of
content to earn attention
for our clients
Getting coverage requires either:
1.		 breaking news
2.		 new insight
We tend to focus on:
1.		 breaking news
2.		 new insight
New insight means
allowing people to see
something in a new way
This is where
visualising data comes in
Simplifying the complex
Visualising data provides insight by
concerthotels.com/100-years-of-rock
wikipedia.org
wikipedia.org
We took a complex dataset
…and simplified it
concerthotels.com/100-years-of-rock
shortlisted for_______________________________________
featured in ___________________...
Simplifying things makes it easier
to consume and draw insight
Putting things into context
Visualising data provides insight by
We aren’t good at wrapping our
heads around big numbers
:(
On average, there are
60 million photos uploaded
to Instagram each day
Impressive stat,
but pretty meaningless by itself
Let’s make it concrete!
photoworld.com/photos-on-the-web
Physical frames of reference
allow us to “see” the size of
Instagram in a new way
hereistoday.com
Monday 19, October
Give insight by putting
things into context
Fear not:
Putting things into context isn’t
about fancy animations
Simple static images can
do the job just as well
[more on this later…]
bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14975549
howithappened.com
howithappened.com
Revealing patterns
Visualising data provides insight by
Can money buy happiness?
Data taken from Cabinet Office Wellbeing & Policy Report 2014
bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26671221
The BBC wrote an article about this
This was their insight
bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26671221
It’s hard to draw
insight from this
We wanted to do
more with it
michaelpage.co.uk/minisite/salary-vs-happiness
Curve of best fit
Plotting the data and the curve
allowed us to identify outliers
Outlying occupations
Outlying sectors
The interest is in the outliers,
which were only identifiable
through visualisation
Another great example of
revealing patterns and clusters…
nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/03/us/20110503-osama-response.html
Visualising the data
brought the hidden patterns
and relationships to light
One big caveat
Any data can be
visualised
But not all data
should be!
You need to know where
you’re adding value
Wow  vs.  Aha
You just listened to Wikipedia!
Listen to Wikipedia
listen.hatnote.com
The value is not to
learn about Wikipedia
The value lies in the novelty of
the execution and experience
This is “Wow”
listen.hatnote.com
“Isn’t this just lovely?”
“Well, this is mesmerising”
shows you something you’ve
literally never seen before
Wow
Moving on to
“Aha”
Data is easy to come by,
but insight is not
priceonomics.com/the-hipster-music-index
It shares insight by
applying a new meaning
to the two sets of data
huffingtonpost.com/benjamin-moore/overrated-underrated-movies_b_5319488.html
huffingtonpost.com/benjamin-moore/overrated-underrated-movies_b_5319488.html
overrated
huffingtonpost.com/benjamin-moore/overrated-underrated-movies_b_5319488.html
underrated
It’s about what they mean,
not how they look
This is “Aha”
shows you something
in a new light
Aha
“Wow” and “Aha” are
not often as clear-cut
The Wow & Aha Spectrum
Wow Aha
Listen to Wikipedia
The Wow & Aha Spectrum
Wow Aha
Hipster Music IndexListen to Wikipedia
The Wow & Aha Spectrum
Wow Aha
100 Years of Rock
Listen to Wikipedia Hipster Music Index
The Wow & Aha Spectrum
Wow Aha
If you printed all the
Instagram photos…
Listen to Wikipedia Hipster Music Index
100 Years of Rock
The Wow & Aha Spectrum
...
Listen to Wikipedia Hipster Music Index
100 Years of Rock
If you printed all the
Instagram photos…
Happiness vs.
Salary
Th...
Listen to Wikipedia Hipster Music Index
100 Years of Rock
If you printed all the
Instagram photos…
Happiness vs.
Salary
Th...
Regardless of what value
you choose to offer
Don’t make your audience
work for it
findproperly.co.uk/tube-map.php
Where’s the data?
Oh, didn’t even see that…
Still no actual prices!
…until you hover again
Don’t make your
audience work!
thrillist.com/lifestyle/london/london-underground-rent-map
Thrillist made their own version
It’s a big hit
It succeeded where
the other failed
Unnecessary
friction
Reward
doesn’t match
the effort
required
Tried to do
too much:
option-
overload
Overcooked
execution
Allows for quick
scanning and
locating
data points
of interest
No learning
curve
Reward
surpasses
effort required
Simple and
intuitive
It can be tempting to try to
do too much at once
What’s the one thing
you want to show?
Gender pay gap
V1.
V1.
Not showing the
one thing we want it to
V2.
Better, but
could still be improved
Pay gap made more obvious
Introduced visual metaphor
Ask yourself:
What’s the one thing I
want to show?
And follow up with:
Am I really showing this?
Sometimes you need to
show people how to see it
“The annotation layer is the
most important thing we do…
otherwise it’s a case of here
it is, you go figure it out”
Amanda...
Annotation layer
=
labels, introductions,
explanatory text, captions
Surely the visualisation
itself is more important
than the annotations
anonymous sceptic
Indecipherable without annotations
nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/05/upshot/how-the-recession-reshaped-the-economy-in-255-charts.html?_r=0
Annotations can help you
deliver insight without making
your audience work for it
Recap
The value in visual content is in
helping people see things they
couldn’t previously see by…
Simplifying the complex
Putting things in context
Revealing patterns
Know where you’re adding value
Listen to Wikipedia Hipster Music Index
100 Years of Rock
If you printed all the
Instagram ...
Don’t make your
audience do the work
That’s your job!
But above all else…
Vicke Cheung, Distilled
Thank you!
vicke.cheung@distilled.net / @VickeKaravan
Designing Creative Content: How visualising data helps us see
Designing Creative Content: How visualising data helps us see
Designing Creative Content: How visualising data helps us see
Designing Creative Content: How visualising data helps us see
Designing Creative Content: How visualising data helps us see
Designing Creative Content: How visualising data helps us see
Designing Creative Content: How visualising data helps us see
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Designing Creative Content: How visualising data helps us see

The feeling you get from finally coming up with a workable idea is one of lightness and relief. That is, until you realise that’s just half the battle; the arduous journey of deciding on an execution still lies ahead. This is as much about what story you want to tell, as it is about visual design.

This presentation delves behind the scenes of actual case studies and projects with a particular focus on answering the why, what, and how of data visualisation.

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Designing Creative Content: How visualising data helps us see

  1. / @VickeKaravanVicke Cheung How Visualising Data Helps Us See Designing Creative Content
  2. We create pieces of content to earn attention for our clients
  3. Getting coverage requires either: 1. breaking news 2. new insight
  4. We tend to focus on: 1. breaking news 2. new insight
  5. New insight means allowing people to see something in a new way
  6. This is where visualising data comes in
  7. Simplifying the complex Visualising data provides insight by
  8. concerthotels.com/100-years-of-rock
  9. wikipedia.org
  10. wikipedia.org
  11. We took a complex dataset
  12. …and simplified it
  13. concerthotels.com/100-years-of-rock shortlisted for_______________________________________ featured in ___________________________________________   122,708     8,366    558 
  14. Simplifying things makes it easier to consume and draw insight
  15. Putting things into context Visualising data provides insight by
  16. We aren’t good at wrapping our heads around big numbers :(
  17. On average, there are 60 million photos uploaded to Instagram each day
  18. Impressive stat, but pretty meaningless by itself
  19. Let’s make it concrete!
  20. photoworld.com/photos-on-the-web
  21. Physical frames of reference allow us to “see” the size of Instagram in a new way
  22. hereistoday.com Monday 19, October
  23. Give insight by putting things into context
  24. Fear not: Putting things into context isn’t about fancy animations
  25. Simple static images can do the job just as well [more on this later…]
  26. bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14975549
  27. howithappened.com
  28. howithappened.com
  29. Revealing patterns Visualising data provides insight by
  30. Can money buy happiness?
  31. Data taken from Cabinet Office Wellbeing & Policy Report 2014
  32. bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26671221 The BBC wrote an article about this
  33. This was their insight bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26671221
  34. It’s hard to draw insight from this
  35. We wanted to do more with it
  36. michaelpage.co.uk/minisite/salary-vs-happiness
  37. Curve of best fit
  38. Plotting the data and the curve allowed us to identify outliers
  39. Outlying occupations
  40. Outlying sectors
  41. The interest is in the outliers, which were only identifiable through visualisation
  42. Another great example of revealing patterns and clusters…
  43. nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/03/us/20110503-osama-response.html
  44. Visualising the data brought the hidden patterns and relationships to light
  45. One big caveat
  46. Any data can be visualised
  47. But not all data should be!
  48. You need to know where you’re adding value
  49. Wow  vs.  Aha
  50. You just listened to Wikipedia!
  51. Listen to Wikipedia listen.hatnote.com
  52. The value is not to learn about Wikipedia
  53. The value lies in the novelty of the execution and experience
  54. This is “Wow” listen.hatnote.com
  55. “Isn’t this just lovely?”
  56. “Well, this is mesmerising”
  57. shows you something you’ve literally never seen before Wow
  58. Moving on to “Aha”
  59. Data is easy to come by, but insight is not
  60. priceonomics.com/the-hipster-music-index
  61. It shares insight by applying a new meaning to the two sets of data
  62. huffingtonpost.com/benjamin-moore/overrated-underrated-movies_b_5319488.html
  63. huffingtonpost.com/benjamin-moore/overrated-underrated-movies_b_5319488.html overrated
  64. huffingtonpost.com/benjamin-moore/overrated-underrated-movies_b_5319488.html underrated
  65. It’s about what they mean, not how they look
  66. This is “Aha”
  67. shows you something in a new light Aha
  68. “Wow” and “Aha” are not often as clear-cut
  69. The Wow & Aha Spectrum Wow Aha
  70. Listen to Wikipedia The Wow & Aha Spectrum Wow Aha
  71. Hipster Music IndexListen to Wikipedia The Wow & Aha Spectrum Wow Aha
  72. 100 Years of Rock Listen to Wikipedia Hipster Music Index The Wow & Aha Spectrum Wow Aha
  73. If you printed all the Instagram photos… Listen to Wikipedia Hipster Music Index 100 Years of Rock The Wow & Aha Spectrum Wow Aha
  74. Listen to Wikipedia Hipster Music Index 100 Years of Rock If you printed all the Instagram photos… Happiness vs. Salary The Wow & Aha Spectrum Wow Aha
  75. Listen to Wikipedia Hipster Music Index 100 Years of Rock If you printed all the Instagram photos… Happiness vs. Salary The Wow & Aha Spectrum Wow Aha
  76. Regardless of what value you choose to offer
  77. Don’t make your audience work for it
  78. findproperly.co.uk/tube-map.php
  79. Where’s the data?
  80. Oh, didn’t even see that…
  81. Still no actual prices!
  82. …until you hover again
  83. Don’t make your audience work!
  84. thrillist.com/lifestyle/london/london-underground-rent-map Thrillist made their own version
  85. It’s a big hit
  86. It succeeded where the other failed
  87. Unnecessary friction
  88. Reward doesn’t match the effort required
  89. Tried to do too much: option- overload
  90. Overcooked execution
  91. Allows for quick scanning and locating data points of interest
  92. No learning curve
  93. Reward surpasses effort required
  94. Simple and intuitive
  95. It can be tempting to try to do too much at once
  96. What’s the one thing you want to show?
  97. Gender pay gap
  98. V1.
  99. V1. Not showing the one thing we want it to
  100. V2.
  101. Better, but could still be improved
  102. Pay gap made more obvious
  103. Introduced visual metaphor
  104. Ask yourself: What’s the one thing I want to show?
  105. And follow up with: Am I really showing this?
  106. Sometimes you need to show people how to see it
  107. “The annotation layer is the most important thing we do… otherwise it’s a case of here it is, you go figure it out” Amanda Cox, NYT Graphics Editor
  108. Annotation layer = labels, introductions, explanatory text, captions
  109. Surely the visualisation itself is more important than the annotations anonymous sceptic
  110. Indecipherable without annotations
  111. nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/05/upshot/how-the-recession-reshaped-the-economy-in-255-charts.html?_r=0
  112. Annotations can help you deliver insight without making your audience work for it
  113. Recap
  114. The value in visual content is in helping people see things they couldn’t previously see by…
  115. Simplifying the complex
  116. Putting things in context
  117. Revealing patterns
  118. Know where you’re adding value Listen to Wikipedia Hipster Music Index 100 Years of Rock If you printed all the Instagram photos… Happiness vs. Salary Wow Aha
  119. Don’t make your audience do the work That’s your job! But above all else…
  120. Vicke Cheung, Distilled Thank you! vicke.cheung@distilled.net / @VickeKaravan

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