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Importance Of Data Visualization And The Best Ways To Use It

July 31, 2021 |
Design, Technology, Web Design
Data Visualization

One of the key factors of a good user experience is ease of use. Bombarding users with loads of information hampers the user experience. Also, it’s best to offer engaging and intuitive content to users on your website. A massive block of text is neither exciting nor engaging. Information conveyed in a long, drawn-out paragraph can also be presented through a combination of imagery and type. Data visualization allows reading and interpreting information easily. It breaks down complex pieces of information and formats them into a visual depiction that is more readable and easier to understand. 

Data Visualization Simplifies The Process of Information Consumption

Dividing the information into visual elements can make it more natural to read and understand. Also, visual elements create a clear hierarchy so that users know the order in which they’re supposed to look at the information. It is frustrating on a user’s part if the information is hard to find or read. It leads to a negative interaction.

With information formatted into consumable portions, a user can easily pick out and identify the most significant bits. This reduces a user’s mental load. It places the information in front of them rather than in their head. 

Data Visualization Is Pleasing To The Eyes

It is a fact that some individuals are visual learners. Those who aren’t will still appreciate a well-designed, minimal and informed information hierarchy. The visual design of information enables the user to craft a narrative of the information and pick some things out to be read in a particular order and under a specific form of importance.

Color, typography, and arrangement of data can also match a company’s branding or product. With everything portraying a consistent design language and part of the same theme, the brand experience becomes more cohesive.

Data Visualization Serves Easy Understanding Of The Presented Information

In simple terms, data visualization is the communication of information in a manner that best suits your audience. It results in quick reads and fast comprehension by eliminating frustrating, confusing, and hard-to-read text. Various forms of data visualization methods can be seen in dashboard interfaces, be it physical or digital. 

Let’s take an example of institutions that deal with massive data – like healthcare companies and banks. They create digital dashboards so users can view and scan through their data quickly and efficiently. Allowing everything to be findable is the key to this designing and presenting. 

Visualization helps to understand the presented information efficiently and effectively. It acts as a visual assistant to help people amalgamate data easily and efficiently. Which, in turn, leads to an overall positive user experience. 

The following best practices will assist you in designing valuable, insightful data experiences through visuals.

Design As Per Your Audience

Visualization reveals patterns, presents context, and describes relations within data. While designers keep no influence over the patterns and relationships in a given data set, they can choose how much data to exhibit. 

Always display the data as per your target audience. Designers should structure visualizations in a straightforward, unambiguous and engaging manner for amateurs and newbies. The key takeaway or information from the data should be spelt out directly, in words. On the other hand, Visualizations for an expert audience can show a more coarse view of the data for reader-driven exploration and learning. Detail and data density should be focused more than simplicity and clarity.

Use Visual Prominence To Guide Users

Visual salience, which makes a visual element stand out against its surroundings, is a robust tool in data visualization. Designers can use it to guide the user’s attention to the most critical information in a visualization; this prevents information overload. Using visual salience to highlight some details and subdue others makes a design cleaner, clearer and easily understandable. A few visual variables, like color and size, are our keys to creating and managing visual salience.

Strip The Visual Clutter From Your Charts

Whether or not you support minimalism in design, you must strip the visual clutter from your charts. Make your data stand out by creating a visual contrast between data elements and non-data elements. 

Eliminate any structural elements (lines, backgrounds, borders, etc.) that don’t clarify the data. Compress fundamental structural elements (axes, grids, and tick marks) that would otherwise clash with your data for attention. Style grids in light grey at a maximum weight of 0.5 pt, and style axes in black or grey with a maximum weight of 1 pt.

Directly Label Data Points

Each visual element that encrypts some data needs to be labelled. The viewer must understand what it represents. However, many designers rely on legends to tell readers which symbols or colors represent which data series in their charts. Legends are hard on the reader. They force readers to scan back and forth between the data and the legend. It puts unnecessary pressure on readers’ working thoughts. A better option is to label data series directly on the chart.

Design for the Mobile

Static visualizations, typically published in bitmap image formats like JPG and PNG pose an apparent challenge for mobile viewers. The advantage of many data visualizations lies in their visual details, in tiny data points and subtle encodings. Many of these details get lost on tiny screens in static formats.

To design for a better mobile experience, create responsive visualizations using a JavaScript visualization library like D3.js or Highcharts. The other way is to create multiple variations of the exact static visualization for desktop, mobile and print.

Data can sometimes be hard to digest. When it comes to presenting data on your website, data visualization is one of the best ways. Visuals make an impact, and including them on your site enhances the overall user experience on many levels. 
Want to know more about data visualization? Speak to our experts.

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