Präsentieren bedeutet, mit Menschen zu sprechen.

Tag: visuals

Going back forward


Smashing 2004 Core77 thread via Connie Malamed from Understanding Graphics.

Advice from designers for designers.

Lots of good stuff in here. My personal favorite is by one nobodyspecial.

.. language is a great tool for exploring ideas. Great design begins with asking the right question – getting at the heart of the problem you’re setting out to solve. Refining your design will start with discussions with other students – learn to be articulate, you’ll be amazed at how simply saying out loud what your thinking can cause a quantum leap in your understanding of your work. 

[I have only edited the apostrophes, I swear.]

SEE #6 First impressions


Back from the See #6. I am happy, dead tired, and filled to the brim with all kinds of first impressions of sustainability, data, visualization. Stories.

The video stream is online now.

[Update] All videos are availabe on Vimeo now.

Talks were great, slides were very good. Cream of the crop visualization on all levels. Not one single slide crammed with text, not one speaker hanging on to his script or presenter notes.

Different speaking styles, and I have my clear favs, but all speakers were confident and at ease, passionate about their topics. All of them had something to say or show.

Visualization is story telling in the dark.

Welzer wriggled his way out of a question I asked. Bit of a shame. Joshua Prince-Ramus rocked, as I knew he would, but hearing his talk on the Wyly theater project for a second time in a slightly different version helped to make better sense of some of the more philosophical passages in his TED talk I am currently translating. Nice showcase for COIK: clear only if known. He uses agency and agenda as synonyms. Ok, now I know.

The crowd was friendly and interested. With no wlan, the back-channel noise was reduced to 3G devices, paper note books, cameras. My old EOS’s battery life was shorter than mine, which does not happen too often.

Right before me sat Miss Facebook and must have missed most of what was being said. I on the other hand know most of her FB contacts’ names now and her favorite instagram filter. This perceived privacy, like when you are picking your nose in a car or making faces in a photo booth. Someone is *always* looking over your shoulder. 

Loved the location. A church with no crosses but almost moorish painted patterns and one hell of a bright projector is a combo I can easily live with.

As last year, the discussion the next day in a small group of twenty or so, was the extra icing on the cake.

Thanks everyone!


Favorite lines:

We need to change the story. (Welzer)

Don’t be that guy. (Justin Manor)

Data needs poetry. (Brendan Dawes)

You mustn’t believe that data is truth. (Jeremy Stucki)

We need people who can think and argue, not people who make pretty pictures. (J. Prince-Ramus)

The sustainable elephant in the room, respectively church:

All of us.


In other links:

SEE #6



SEE #6 am kommenden Wochenende. Letztes Jahr Visualisierung im Zeichen des Vulkans, diesmal in einer Kirche. Bringt Kissen, Decken und W-Lan-Router. Kirchen sind hartes Brot.

2010 hat die SEE #5 erreicht, dass ich wieder übers Präsentieren blogge. Mal sehen, was dieses Jahr passiert. Gute Vorträge sind gefährlich. Sie bringen uns zum Weiterdenken.

Oder wie Andrew vande Moere auf dem Sequel Workshop sagte, als wir über die Notwendigkeit besserer Datenvisualisierung im medizinischen Bereich, besonders Diabetes, sprachen: »Sie sollten das einfach machen.«


Lessons from Cranford

I was watching Cranford last night, a BBC costume drama based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels. I’m a sucker for BBC costume drama. Drama is where I come from; English novels of the 19th century were one of my major classes at college. I also took Science Fiction classes, and children’s literature. Great blend, really.

Anyway, to come back to what I was saying, there is this one scene in Cranford when Miss Matty, an elderly spinster talks to her niece Mary about Peter, the black sheep of the family, who caused quite a scandal and then disappeared.

As she is telling Mary Peter’s story, she turns off the light (or candles, rather). She finds it easier to talk about her lost brother in the dark. Some stories have more impact if there is nothing to distract us. The same goes for listening.

Have you ever closed your eyes while on the phone so that you could hear the other side better?

Visualization is story telling in the dark. We do not need slides with everything.

Snuff out the candles, now and then (or projector, rather). Words are available light.

No reason, no rhyme


One in seven lacks access to clean water.

Earth Month 2010 is a worthy cause and I feel guilty that I am distracted by the visualization. But I am, and I keep counting, six, seven blue icons, how many is one in seven, shouldn’t there be one black icon for every six blue icons, I am confused, maybe it is just me, everyone else gets this, I am sure, argh, stupid me, stupid t-shirt.

You don’t want this to happen in your audience. One in seven does not get your numbers. We are ten finger animals. Anything beyond 10 needs time to sink in. Much more time than you think it does.

  • So make your numbers easy to see, not just easy on the eye.
  • Make them mean something.
  • Eliminate built-in distractors.
  • And talk us through. All of us.

Make sure your cause does not get lost in the translation of foggy visuals. And if in doubt forsake the pretty layout for a clear one. Especially when you are talking about people. People should be more than icons on a t-shirt.

If you are more interested in causes than looks: The campaign was run by Aveda and so it made me think after all. Hair salons must use an obscene amount of water. The campaign logo on the Aveda site is very clear, by the way.

One in seven lacks access to clean water.