Illusions in Data Visualization

Illusions in Data Visualization

Data visualizations are effective ways for inputting information into a human’s brain, and as Visual Analytics Researcher at Tableau Software and Visual.ly advisor Robert Kosara says, visualizations are what makes our world real.

But even when the people who created the visualization are being honest, we can’t always trust what our eyes are showing us. We’ve evolved our visual perceptual system over millions of years (some other animals see optical illusions too) and it is extremely effective at what it does, but it still has some quirks.

Sometimes it takes shortcuts to make things efficient, and those shortcuts are exposed in optical illusions.

 
In a data visualization context, illusions are dangerous because they can make us see things that aren’t really there in the data. Good practice helps us to avoid these optical illusions, but occasionally they can still sneak in through design choices,... keep reading

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Everyone wants their content to go viral. It’s the holy grail of marketing. It can turn companies and product into the talk of the town, even if they sell toiletries. The ROI on content with more than a million views is almost unmeasurable. So how do you make sure your content will go viral?... keep reading

Looking back 20 years to now: NYC 1993

Twenty years is an eternity in design. Case in point: designers use completely different technologies in their work— and daily lives — than we did in 1993. And without a doubt, our aesthetic sensibilities have changed. Yet, the art of that year seems strikingly current. NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star is as... keep reading