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Data and visual abstractions

  • Data Visualisation

  • Is data a currency?

  • How does data affect my design practice? What applications do I see in my practice?


Data Visualisation

Data is an analysis of reality meaning a stage of things, but it is as everything is affected by subjective interpretation. Perception is how something is understood. Data Visualisation is a tool for different kinds of visual indications like diagrams, tables, etc.


I have been working on a project for the SBB app in a group of four these past weeks. We used a lot of data in different stages of our project. In the beginning, we did research by observing, and writing down our observations (data). Later by interviews and google forms. And after user testing. We used and analysed data in every step of our design process and used data visualization as a tool to have an easy overview of the data.


Examples of Data Visualisations we did for our project:

Data Visualisation: Analysing the steps in 3 different User flow designs of the alert button implemented on the SBB app.



Data Visualisation: One of the 3 User Flows that was the most sufficient after a small user testing group.


Is data a currency?

I recommend reading an article by By William d. Eggers, Rob Hamill, and Abed Ali about data as the new currency. The case study of this article is the company Deloitte. I think that data transfers between people are just one-sided. Usually, someone provides data and another receives it, as other currencies usually work both ways as trading tools. The question that also comes to my mind is that if data is a currency what is considered data? Does it have to be data from scientific research or is it enough if data is gathered with a google sheet from maybe a biased group? I think it is a very interesting topic, that I want to delve more deeply into.


How does data affect my design practice? What applications do I see in my practice?


I think that I use some sort of data in every design process that I go through. More often I start a design process by doing some kind of research on data that is available on the topic. We mostly use qualitative data in design, even though quantitive data is also sometimes used. I have also used data to pack up my design question or solution or to understand the need of it amongst the potential users. Data can also be used as inspiration and to understand where the interest lies. It is very important to know the difference between scientific data and data that is not scientific but still could help forward in the design process, keeping a critical mind as always, of course. :)

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