22/9/2010

Visualizing Information Structures: So…

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Visualizing Information Structures: Some Examples
by Gene Smith July 12, 2010 |
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A couple of months ago I asked our staff to share examples of interesting ways of visualizing information structure. They promptly sent me a bunch of interesting stuff, then I got busy and put it aside for a while (sorry guys!). When I asked for submissions I was hoping to discover new ways of rendering information architecture; or, at the very least, new paths to explore when creating site maps, content models, templates, etc. But because I'd asked a vague question, I got back a variety of responses that met my criteria but fell outside my expectations. And that got me excited. I was hoping to see clever deliverables, but most of these examples--like Dennis's multi-source visualization and Heather's Wheel of Nutrition--are at the blurry boundary between information architecture, information visualization and design. And they're as much about understanding and exploration as they are about displaying information. Also: I should ask more vague questions. Onto the examples...

Blogviz
Link: http://www.blogviz.com Heather says: Blogviz is the thesis project of Manuel Lima and is a visualization tool that helps display how word-of-mouth information travels from person A to person B. "Blogviz is a flash driven visualization model for mapping the transmission and internal structure of top links across the blogosphere. It explores the idea of meme propagation by assuming a parallel with the spreading of most cited URLs in daily weblog entries."
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Visualizing Information Structures: So…

Like most good information visualization, blogviz helps to reveals hard to see patterns, in this case in the 'topic diffusion process.' Blogviz attemps to answer: What’s the life cycle of a topic? How does it start and how does it evolve through time? Are topics constrained to a specific community of users? Who are the most influential and innovative blogs in any topic? Are there any relationships amongst topic proliferators? Gene says: "One thing I like about Blogviz is its focus on understanding rather than mere representation. There are now many good Twitter visualization tools as well, but the challenge is extracting a story from the data rather than just displaying it in a pretty way."

Multi-Source Visualization
Dennis says: "We have a client with a lot of different web properties which, despite the fact that they serve the same audience, are not at all coordinated or even linked. The burden is entirely on users to choose the right site for the task at hand. To make matters worse, some tasks could realistically require visits to multiple sites. In order to demonstrate this difficult situation, I created a series of simple visualizations that show the organic path one must traverse to access certain types of information."

Mindjet Maps
Ammneh says: "I’ve used Mindjet maps for structuring information on different projects and it has always worked for me. We have a client who had to deal with different scenarios and issues around one specific website task. We used Mindjet to organize that issues. It allowed us to see the information visually and brainstorm some solutions around it. See the diagram below."

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Tune Glue
Link: http://audiomap.tuneglue.net/ Dennis says: "I like how this site helps you to discover new music. You search on an artist you know and like, expand the results, and uncover artists with a similar style. It has a simple, playful, and organic feel that seems right for the task."

Service Blueprint
Link: http://servicedesigntools.org/sites/default/files/res_images/PRESBY_NEURO_CLINIC.gif Ammneh says: "I found service blueprint interesting for visualizing and origanizing information. Here is a short description of the project and the visual from the website: “After the visit to the Presbyterian Neuro Clinic and the interviews with both patients and staff members, the process was described through a service blueprint. The blueprint maps the entire clinic experience for patients and all of the supporting roles staff
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and Dr. Kassam play throughout. Mapping the service blueprint allowed the team to see the breakdowns in the clinic experience: the chaotic backstage processes, the absolute importance of Dr.Kassam in the system, the lack of patients’ engagement during the waiting time."

Wheel of Nutrition
Link: http://www.hafsteinnjuliusson.com/ Quote from the designer: "The wheel of nutrition is a dining plate that reminds us of the fundamental values of nutrition. The plate comes in three types: Diet, Extra ordinary and Supersize." Gene says: "Heather sent this to me and I thought it was really clever. And then I started wondering why we don't see more information embedded in every-day objects. (Because of the production costs, obviously.) But there is something powerful about instrumenting ordinary objects with valuable information that can help people make better decisions. And as this example shows, the object itself doesn't need to be interactive to be effective."

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Posted in Opinions on July 12, 2010

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Visualizing Information Structures: So…

ammneh 2 months ago
From Twitter via BackType Visualizing information structures - nForm blog post http://nform.ca/blog/2010/07/visualizing-information-structure-examples

duduloureiro 2 months ago
From Twitter via BackType visualization - bons exemplos http://bit.ly/chEKzj

UTguru 2 months ago
From Twitter via BackType One more retweet from UXfeeder

nForm Blog: Visualizing Information Structures: Some Examples: A couple of months ago I asked our staff to share e... http://bit.ly/cj8qEm
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