Data Design Process

I wrote a chapter on the data design process for the book Big Data Visualisation: Recent Developments and Challenges. The book will be published in 2021 by CRC Press. The visualisation below illustrates the process I describe in the book in three steps.

August 31, 2020
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The Process

The process of creating a data visualisation can be daunting. As data designers, we need to make about a million decisions, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's gotten a headache from them more than once. So how can we make the design process a more efficient and a more enjoyable experience? I find that organised thinking helps a lot—following a process that helps make decisions in a structured manner. It took me quite a while to structure my own design process. The final (or should I say, current) version of it is a mix of my own experience infused with tips from the best data visualisation designers out there. It covers three stages—exploration, arrangement and style, and delivery. I borrowed the names for the stages from the art of rhetoric (see: Cicero, Five Canons of Rhetoric). The design of this marimekko-like chart came quite naturally, inspired by Federica Fragapane's Stories Behind a Line project. You can download the complete sheet here.

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