A Crisis in Numbers: data visualisations in the coverage of the 2015 European refugee crisis
2 October 2015, 6.30pm
Swedenborg Hall, London
Megan Knight is an academic at the University of Hertfordshire, with a background in Journalism and Social Media. After a career in journalism which took her from Canada to South Africa, and saw her covering everything from wars to bake sales, she took up a teaching post at Rhodes University which started her academic path.
She teaches journalism and media practice, and her research focuses on the impact of new technologies on journalism and media practices. She is the author (with Clare Cook) of Social Media for Journalists: Principles and Practice. Her work can be seen at meganknight.org and at academia.edu
Vision Plus 2015
3–4 September 2015, Birmingham, UK
We're pleased to support IIID's upcoming symposium as an event partner.
Vision Plus 2015 will consider how information design can improve performance across a range of fields from the arts to business. It will also reflect on information design as a performance in its creation, delivery, implementation and impact across a wide gamut of disciplines and range of platforms, which straddle geographical and linguistic boundaries. This symposium will not only deliberate on contemporary design, it will also consider information design of the past and invite visions for the future.
IDA members got discounted tickets! We enjoyed seeing you there.
IDA evening events are open to members and non-members. We publicise events on our website and through social media. We email members as soon as an event is confirmed so that you can reserve a free place online. Spare places are released to non-members (£15 per event). Membership runs for a calendar year – join the IDA or renew your membership for 2015
Evening events are held in central London venues. A typical evening starts with drinks and chitchat, followed by the talk and discussion, and then onto a nearby pub to continue conversations. The IDA also usually hosts one or two social evenings each year to encourage networking.
Last year we had some great talks, a fantastic conference, a half-day event on clearer legal information and a series of education hangouts. More dates and details for this year coming soon – please check back!
The IDA education group hangs out online to discuss the latest information design research. The hangouts are open to all IDA members – all you need to take part is a Google Plus account.
Coming up next:
Research in practice chaired by Andrew Barker
Date to be announced
Although information design possibly does better than some other areas, there's still something of a gap between researchers and practitioners. What hinders practitioners in making use of research? It would be great to have researchers and practitioners talking together about this.
Chung, A. Z. Q., Williamson, A. Shorrock, S. T. What do human factors and ergonomics professionals value in research publications? Re-examining the research-practice gap. Ergonomics (2014).
PAST GOOGLE HANGOUTS
Simplicity and Complexity chaired by Sue Perks, July 2014
When is information too complex to understand and when is it too simple for us to take it seriously?
Kinross, R., 'On the Influence of Isotype' Information Design Journal, 2: 2 (1981), 122-130.
Klanten, R., Bourquin N., Tissot T., Ehmann S., (eds.) Data Flow: Visualizing Information in Graphic Design (Berlin: Gestalten, 2008).
McCandless, D., Information is Beautiful (London: Collins, 2009).
Neurath, M., & Kinross, R., The Transformer: Principles of Making Isotype Charts (London: Hyphen Press, 2009).
Tufte, E., Envisioning information (Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press, 1990).
Visualising Uncertainty chaired by Will Stahl-Timmins, May 2014
The hangout focused on a recent paper in the journal Science and the implications for information designers (Spiegelhalter, D et al. Visualising Uncertainty About the Future. Science, 333; 1391 (2011)). We were very pleased to see these issues given prominence in a widely-distributed journal. We were happy about their inclusion references to the Isotype system and the acknowledgement of how important it is to understand the "context of the communication exercise and the needs and capabilities of the audience". We talked about how students at the University of the Aegean had been thinking about context by placing messages where they work when designing displays to help ex-smokers not to relapse.
We found problematic the paper's use of the Florence Nightingale Rose diagram without mentioning the visual distortion caused by her mapping the data not to the area of the wedges but to the distance from the centre of the 'roses', thereby over-emphasising her message. Having said that, we mentioned that the message was an important one, and the attention-grabbing nature of the diagram was probably useful in bringing about important changes.
We talked about the advantages and disadvantages of icon displays that randomise the order of the symbols versus those that group them, about how error bars on bar charts can lead people to place too much emphasis on central estimates (with thanks to Michael Blastland and Oli Hawkins for this). We thought that such techniques could be powerful ways of showing different possibilities, but were mindful that the context should be appropriate – would doctors presenting information to patients be helping or not by using such techniques?
Animated transitions chaired by Will Stahl-Timmins, June 2014
Alan Smith in his recent IDA talk, suggested the use of animated transitions to guide users through different presentations of the same data. What is the research basis for this? And what tols can be used to generate such effects?
Jeffrey Heer and George G Robertson Animated Transitions in Statistical Data Graphics