Tag Archives: E-tabs

Viz-Fest Day 3 – Data Visualization and Dashboards #MRX #NewMR

Live note-taking from Viz-Fest, November 2016. Any errors are my own.

Tom Schlak, E-Tabs, Data Viz for the Visually Impaired

  • Most important information visually displayed to achieve objectives and can be monitored at a glance, Charts, graphs, icons, mostly visual
  • How can data visualization be made accessible to someone who is blind
  • Viewing a musical score versus listening to a score, “seeing” a chart can’t be replicated
  • What are the alternatives, Maybe use speech assistive technologies
  • 5% of the world has some visual impairment, 11.5% for people over 50 years of age
  • Good designs benefit everyone even fully sighted users
  • Text and fonts – font size on screen nothing less than 12 to 16 points, Helvetica, Arial
  • Font styles more complicated, must consider legibility and readability, legibility is individual characters, readability is overall appearance including spacing and formatting, good fonts have better spacing, less fancy script, less detailed, filled lettering, less heavy, less thin, less serif, Use display fonts carefully because they aren’t accessible
  • Contrast – sometimes corporate colours are a problem but readability must come first, use an online tool like adobe color CC, let’s you choose colors that match your target color or complement, matters for typography too, forget white on yellow, yellow on red, grey on green
  • Clean user experience – avoid cluttered dashboard, eliminate non-data pixels like background images and watermarks, large logos, etc, think about data-to-ink ratio, avoid dark gridlines or over-labeling, don’t fill up backgrounds just because you can, gradients of grey can be difficult to differentiate, use colors like red and green appropriately, only highlight what must be highlighted, flatten the design by removing shadows and 3D elements that make a flat image look shiny
  • Eg Microsoft logo went from shiny colored circle to four simple boxes
  • What about color deficiency, blindness – 8% of men and .5% of women have deficiencies, the worst forms can distinguish 20 hues but people without can see about 100 hues
  • Avoid red green charts as this can hide the data
  • Traffic light indicators are common, red green yellow, and should be used with caution, consider using shapes as well, arrows, checkmarks, faces, and maybe use them only for one state, just the positives or just the negatives
  • Use cross hatching or fill patterns so you don’t rely just on color
  • Use Colblinder online to test colors, light colors can lose their differentiation, text labels will help, try also ColorBrewer online
  • Much of this applies to good design anyway
  • Is it still beautiful is someone can’t see it? Communicate to everyone

Marta Blankenberger, redaviZ, Data Driven Infographics

  • Infographic is visual representation of data to share information quickly and clearly
  • Need to think about position, size, shape, color
  • Icons help us understand and interpret information
  • Combine a doughnut chart with an icon, or combine a bubble chart with a map behind it
  • Masking – cover or uncover part of a chart but placing a shape in front of it, try that with charts, grey out a section or tone down the color of part of it
  • Combine icons, put stars over circles to mask different areas
  • Try using an arrow as the bars in a bar chart, just paste the image into the bar
  • Try putting a grey bar behind the bars to represent the maximum of the bar
  • Try using copied icons as the bar (e.g., 5 stars, 8 stars, 3 stars), you can use masking to turn 5 out of 10 into 5.3 out of 10
  • Use conditional formatting of data labels, change the color/shape/size of labels if they are less than a specified value, or put checkmarks as the data point

Viz-Fest 2016 Day 2 – Deliverables and Communications #MRX #NewMR

Live note taking of the November 2016 Viz-Fest webinars. Any errors are my own.


 Making a big difference with small changes by Simon Dunn, Highly recommend watching!

  • Quotes
    • Tight line spacing suggests an amateur design, use wider line spacing
    • Change heavy dark text to less dark grey in keeping with the brand guidelines
    • When using a quote, maybe use a photo or a signature image
    • Use gradients in photos so the edges aren’t so stark
    • Good ideas for respondent quotes – different lengths and sizes
    • Maybe put quotes on individual slides, use cool large quote marks, transitioning between slides takes no more time and looks nice
  • Icons
    • com has lots of icons
    • Use online version of photoshop, com, to reverse colours to your brand as needed
  • Imagery
    • Often have many images you need to show, eg focus group images
    • Think about google images, put identical size borders between every image so they line up exactly [oh, I do this!] Maybe try to include unusual image sizes like very tall rectangle
    • Maybe put a large colour image behind the text to support what you’re talking about, put a colored square over the image so that it’s greyed out or blued out, or use gradients so it becomes white behind the words
    • [FABULOUS ideas here. Recommend watching the video.]
    • Could include a very simple chart over the image
  • Charts
    • Remove visual clutter or horizontal lines, order by percent, highlight the item in colour and put the rest in gray to show a comparison, maybe put a small icon at the bottom of each bar, e.g., apple, orange, banana, but also show the word label to avoid confusion
    • Put a giant percent number on a slide by itself with the essential words, or put very simple text in the middle of a donut chart, or create an image where 25% of oranges are coloured in orange, or use a picture of an orange where 25% is shared in orange and the rest in grey
  • Simplification
    • Traditional table with title on the top, table on one side, chart on the other side: remove all the table and chart junk, unnecessary colours, adjust scale to better fill the area, remove information that doesn’t add to the story, make table headers the same length and number of rows, consider colour shading, consider removing padding around tables
    • Create a duplicate slide so you can refer to the old version and see what you liked and didn’t like, and what you may want to add back in
  • Reduce and trim to the core message, stay with brand imagery and color, make sure imagery supports the story


Future Proofing and Automating Your Client Report Templates by Jon Hackenbroch, E-Tabs

  • You can make a PPT slide look like a dashboard
  • We are hovering between ppt offline reports and dashboard online reports
  • Dashboard is better for 100 country tracker [oh gosh, I can’t imagine replicating that report 100 times!]
  • Automating brings speed, accuracy, less stress, added value, can use interim data and build a project in advance, helps to remove the mundane aspects
  • If one thing goes wrong, it can affect everything else from tabs to reporting and must fix in each step along the way. With automation, fix it at beginning and it’s fixed all the way through
  • If people change projects along the way, automation remembers all the processes without them. It’s easy to replicate projects over the years.
  • Very easy to standardize projects even among different teams, Very easy to test out new options and revert to previous without loss of time
  • Make sure specs are clear – does top 5 brand mean top 6 if there are ties, or does it mean client brand plus top 4, or only brands with a minimum of at least X%
  • Consideration variation among countries before hand – if some countries have 4 or 5 or 8 brands in a category, will you chart only 4 for every country so that formatting and colour always match
  • What if one country only had the question added recently so it will need a bar chart instead of a line chart, need to prepare for this ahead of time
  • Wording changes or spelling changes can affect automation to make sure it identifies things properly
  • Test the template setup so that nice designs don’t have overlapping bars and words when they’re used with real data [this is why I like indexed data]
  • Test if design looks different for a brand with 2 words vs 50 words on the screen
  • Automation means you can check one report thoroughly and then spot check the rest
  • Consider how a project will revolve over time, maybe need to add more brands or more countries or more answer options in future waves
  • So much is lost with staff changes and automation helps with this [sigh, I’ve been in that role, it’s no fun trying to figure out how someone did something]
  • Reports can be prepared in record time
  • Check the data first not the formatting
  • Don’t try to show as much as possible, figure out how to make things uncomplicated
  • Don’t throw significance values over the place, focus on the essential values
  • Retain access to your raw data! Don’t let it reside in another company or you could lose it forever.


DIY Creativity…. – Yes, You Can Do It! Increasing understanding by allowing for authenticity By Edward Appleton and Katharina Ladikas at Happy Thinking People, Highly recommend watching!

  • Results become more vivid, come alive, keep stakeholders engaged, longer sessions don’t seem so long, memorable
  • We deal with complex subject matters so we need understanding to be more accessible
  • We do this by adding authenticity by changing the visual impact or making the results more tangible
  • Our daily lives are bombarded with visually stunning images, perfect colours, sharp contrasts, stylish looks, polished, professional, anything less than stunning is boring and dusted
  • But perfect doesn’t necessarily help us understand the content, perfect does not equal authentic, perfection creates a distance [Totally agree, glad they discovered the obvious because I certainly didn’t]
  • How do we increase authenticity? DIY creativity refers to DIY scribbles and DIY handicraft! It’s fun, intuitive, fast, customized, only need a pen and paper, non-polished and non-professional on purpose!
  • DIY is not just for ready made pictures and icons, it’s about creating them yourself
  • When people hold a pen, it helps them remember and concentrate, let’s use these scribbles in a more meaningful way, a cute hand drawn cow can be much more memorable and appealing than a photo or professional illustration [I’ll have to tell my SO that I don’t need his computer animated robot for my People Aren’t Robots book. J ]
  • Draw on paper, take a photo, screen cap it, crop it or color it, and use it anywhere [I AM SO GOING TO DO THIS!!!]
  • Scribbles
    • Use it to simplify a complex chain of events – playful scribbles with keywords underneath
    • Key sections of a presentation – draw pictures of shirt, dress, skirt, sweaters
    • Guidance in a 3-hour presentation – pictures of each section, reference points throughout
    • Orientation in a workshop – drew nametags for people, table stands to find the right places
    • Make people feel welcome immediately – added little scribbles to each chair which made people smile and feel happy
  • DIY Handicraft
    • Customized, on the spot, and involving, imperfect on purpose
    • Get art supplies, glue, fabric, pipe cleaners, felt, anything from a dollar store
    • Product innovation – have people make their ideas more realistic, create different packaging
    • New jewelry line – people brought new product line to life
    • DIY creativity is more pleasant, more smiles than frowns, engage visually and emotionally, and it prompts things to happen. This is not about saving money or avoiding using the creative department. Clients lean forward and engage differently. Think of adult colouring books. Easier for clients to remember it, makes it emotional which is the beginning of action.
  • [Lovely drawings of yourselves. Love your hair 🙂 ]


Immersion Techniques in Stakeholder Communications by Brett Bridges

  • [sorry, my sound cut out for a while :/ ]
  • Created four social stations – Recreated a social setting, comfy chairs and coffee table
  • Life-size infographics, six feet tall, to frame up what was important about a group, demos, business, stats on healthcare, grounding information for participants walking through exhibit
  • Recreated a doctor’s office to immerse people in the topic, video of health care as a latino, audio testimonials to bring voice of consumer, booklet on the table to share competitive intelligence about what is working in the industry, interactive tablet with first person perspective game depicting a visit to the emergency room where trying to understand a complicated language in a second language is so difficult
  • Third station was immersing in the values of the group using an immersion wall, like a hands on museum, contextual information and contextual objects, as seen in the in-home ethnographies, kids drawings, religious symbols, books, artwork to help audience understand the group, their identity which is important for messaging
  • Station four was interactive insights platform – write a post-it note with aha comments, what they’d do differently now, put them up for other people to see and share in, online platform to understand more depth, video, images to engage people, get more after they left the station because it was a website, they can keep the website updated even after the initial event, no worries about version control
  • Enabled a more authentic relationship with Latinos, for product development, portfolio planning, marketing, planning, dealing with language barrier, operations, call center staffing and training, insights, drive understanding and action
  • Big investment but it can be done on a smaller scale, doesn’t have to be a big exhibit, uses pieces of it, each tool can be used separately to drive empathy
  • Identify defining experiences, stories, objects to vividly recreate them through different mediums
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