The world is changing at a rapid and accelerating rate. A question for us as designers is how we can help our audiences and users understand and navigate this changing world. In particular, since we face numerous global challenges, like climate change, that impact us all and require action soon.
Woven into all of this is data. It helps us understand what is happening, drives decisions, whether small or large, and helps us see the impact of our decisions. So, more and more, data and data visualization are part of the products that we design. From smartwatches showing our daily steps, to finance apps helping us balance our budget. And now with the growing importance of AI and data-driven decision-making, we need to be able to peek into the black box, and comprehend how things work. As designers we need to bridge the gap between data and our audiences.
This aspect of design comes with a unique set of challenges. While data appears to be neutral, it can also be very subjective. So, how do we present data clearly, trustworthy, and tell honest stories? How do we help users make sense of it all? In particular, when there are margins of uncertainty.
As a data design and visualization studio, we have dealt with these challenges in a broad range of projects. From helping track the Corona pandemic, to supporting sustainable investments. In this talk, we want to share our experiences and strategies for creating designs with data that help users understand complex topics and act, while dealing with issues of trust and uncertainty. In particular, when these topics are of a global scale.
Beyond inspiration from our and other projects, we aim to provide clear considerations, strategies, and techniques as takeaways from this talk, that can be applied to all types of projects, even if they are not focused on data visualization.