Information designers have more tools at their disposal these days than ever before. Ever since its release in 2011, D3 has made it possible to build web-based tools that make it easier to create the actual visualizations that go into data visualization. Unlike InfoActive and similar tools that offer pre-set templates that users can customize with certain limits on design and data, these tools provide control over the design. Launched in October, RAW was one of the first of these tools.
Another pioneer in the field is datavisual.
Datavisual offers a full suite of tools for controlling the design aspects of a number of different visualization types. The tool’s approach is perfect for information designers: separate the design and the data during the creation process. This lets designers create styles independent of the actual content, very similar to how CSS and HTML work together, but without ever writing any code. This is an extremely valuable tool for simplifying workflows that include updating the data in visualizations. Generating a slew of charts for a report or monthly data updates become simple uypload/download actions instead of tedious restyling.
The private beta of the service just launched, and they are looking for people with experience in the data visualization and information design realm to help test it out. So far, it seems to be a polished tool with most of the functionality an information designer could want. We look forward to seeing what comes of it in the next months and years!