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Engaging Audiences with Data Visualization

  • Apr 19, 2013 · 12:30 PM
  • USF

Speaker: Scott Murray

Edward Tufte, Stephen Few, and others espouse graphical purity and simplicity when visualizing data.  Yet while “pure” visualizations may function successfully for experts, they are not necessarily useful for communicating meaning to lay audiences.  Engaging non-expert audiences is essential to communicating the value of one’s data and research.  Fortunately, we can draw on principles and practices for engagement from the fields of graphic design, interaction design, and (data) journalism.  I propose a framework of three avenues of engagement: aesthetic, narrative, and interactive.

Scott Murray is a code artist who writes software to create data visualizations and other interactive phenomena. His work incorporates elements of interaction design, systems design, and generative art. Scott is an Assistant Professor of Design at the University of San Francisco, a contributor to Processing, and  author of “Interactive Data Visualization for the Web: An Introduction to Designing with D3.”  Scott earned an A.B. from Vassar College and an M.F.A. from the Dynamic Media Institute at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. His work can be seen at

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks, everyone, for coming! Here are my slides:

    Also, I had a few requests for the names and books I mentioned. Here are a few:

    - Nathan Yau,, Data Points, Visualize This
    - Andy Kirk,, Data Visualization: A successful design process
    - Alberto Cairo,, The Functional Art
    - Edward Tufte (all 4 books)
    - Stephen Few, Information Dashboard Design and other titles

    I'm probably missing a few; feel free to post them here to share with others.

    1 · April 21, 2013

    • Erik B.

      Scott, thank you for the talk. It was nice to see visualization from a design point of view.

      April 21, 2013

    • Bill S.

      Mentioned by Scott above--picked up Data Points by Nathan Yau: 50% off via Oreilly deal of the day--check­

      April 23, 2013

  • Sneha K.

    The talk was really a very nice.!!

    April 22, 2013

  • kathy

    I missed your talk. Do you mind posting a video if it was recorded?

    April 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I don't believe anyone recorded it, sorry!

      April 21, 2013

  • Lei Y.

    I won't be able to make it. Can the slides or a video from the talk please be posted?! Thanks!

    April 19, 2013

  • Keith

    Wanted to go, but just took a job that makes it unlikely I will get there in time.

    April 18, 2013

  • Michael H.

    Sharon Li or Jimmy Lau

    March 13, 2013

  • Sophie E.

    Wish I could make it!

    March 7, 2013

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