Sketchnotes and Visual Note Taking
Eva-Lotta Lamm, 18 March 2014

Sketchnotes are a way of capturing ideas (from talks, books, videos or your own head) in an engaging and visual way by combining the power of sketching and writing. 

This talk was an introduction to visual note taking, presenting the main characteristics that make it a great tool for designers (and anybody else) to capture their thoughts. It explained why this form of note taking is a wonderful opportunity to practise and refine all sorts of important skills for our profession.

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'Efforts of Memory': Adventures in Presenting Statistics
Alan Smith, 28 February 2014

What should our goals be in presenting statistics? Is it possible to engage with a wide audience on statistical themes without dumbing down data? What roles can animation and interactivity play? Alan's talk kicked off our 2014 season of IDA evening events, providing a visual biography of the Data Visualisation Centre at the Office for National Statistics.

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Data Manifestation
Karin von Ompteda, 6 November 2013

Karin talked about data visualisation taken off the page and screen, and manifested as objects, environments, and experiences. She discussed contemporary practice as well as drawing upon the rich output of ten cross-disciplinary ‘critical visualisation’ workshops she has run over the past three years in London and Beijing.

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One-dimensional maps: why an old form of mapmaking deserves a revival
Laurence Penney, 3 June 2013

Until recently, maps in the form of long strips were a widely-used method of communication about travel and linear geographic features: roads, routes, railways, rivers and so on. Laurence questioned assumptions that the dominant contemporary forms – Ordnance Survey, Google and sat-nav – perform the same tasks as well, and proposed one-dimensional approaches for modern mobile devices. 

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Opposites Attract: The Art and Science of Data Visualisation
Andy Kirk, 8 May 2013

Andy talked about the landscape of data visualisation, particularly examining the fine line between form and function, assessing the different styles and functions of designs that exist to fulfil varying purposes.

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Brains in Jars, Nuns in Habits
Lucienne Roberts, 25 March 2013

Lucienne outlined the process as she and architect Calum Storrie worked together to develop a design scheme for the Wellcome Collection exhibition, Brains: The Mind as Matter. Not for the squeamish, it featured over 150 artefacts ranging from real brains to artworks, photography and film.

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Making a Legible City
Mike Rawlinson, 25 February 2013

Mike spoke about his experience working across disciplines to develop unique design, information and wayfinding solutions to improve user experience of cities, places and spaces. He presented a selection of his processes and projects to show just what helps to make a city legible.

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Inventing the timeline – a history of visual history
Stephen Boyd-Davis, 29 January 2013

Designing a timeline of events seems like a pretty trivial exercise in visualisation. Stephen highlighted some of the difficult and subtle decisions actually involved.

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Balance: Presenting election data at the BBC 
Jonathan Spencer and Mark Edwards, 21 November 2012

Jonathan and Mark looked at the design evolution of the BBC’s full form general election results graphics and associated screen architecture since 2005, and the 2010 data table for predicting likely coalitions.

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Lulu's poster for the Data Visualisation Handbook


Data Journalism: a designer's perspective
Lulu Pinney, 15 October 2012

The internet has had a profound impact on journalism. The vast quantity of data the internet has enabled us to discover, collect, explore and share is part of this. Visual design provides a powerful tool for finding and telling the stories contained within data.

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Diversity and interdisciplinary approaches have characterised IDA evening events. Speakers have generously shared their projects, method and research. This is a flavour of talks we've enjoyed in recent years...


We got out the popcorn for an entertaining French film about the design of technical manuals, ‘Push the Button’ (Appuyer sur le bouton: au pays des modes d’emploi), an event jointly hosted by the IDA and ISTC.

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