Is a “Graphical Drop-down” Better than a Row of Icons?

by on June 4, 2016

a graphical dropdown

At the trainspotting end of the UX spectrum of activity lie articles like this, from Information Architects Inc., which for some reason I find myself reading. While IA’s article is far too long and badly needs editing, the following occurs to me: Icons take up minimal space and look better than plain text, so they tend to […]

What’s Worse Than A Pie Chart?

by on January 4, 2013

I dislike pie charts. I may even dislike people who use them. But even worse than a pie chart is a quite recent device that doesn’t (I don’t think) have a name. These are the circles that appear mostly in newspapers and magazines to illustrate some quantitative comparison – here’s an example of what I mean. This technique […]

A Problem With Visualising Data

by on November 28, 2012

Data visualisation (“dataviz” or more broadly, “infoviz”) appears to serve two main purposes. The first is to show data to people who are not analysts or experts. This is so that they can understand some or all of something that has already been identified in that data. The assumption here is that raw tables, or perhaps bunches of charts […]

Is This The Most Elegant Map Ever?

by on October 31, 2012

I was having a look at the state of Japanese web design today (we’re doing some customer research there at the moment)  and saw this towards the bottom of the home page of the Yomiuri Shinbun site. For those who don’t know, the Yomiuri is the world’s largest newspaper by circulation. I would imagine their website is also read […]

Worst Infographic Yet: Colours in Cultures

by on June 24, 2010

David McCandless is an interesting person doing interesting things. Interesting to me, that is, because his work exemplifies something I find deeply mysterious in the way people regard information visualisation. His pursuit of “beauty” seems to be a licence to override clarity, truth, and even common sense. Yet he is widely lauded (here he is […]

SingStar Plug

by on December 19, 2007

I’ve not worked on an FMCG site in ages, so I’m taking the liberty of plugging this one, which we did for Sony Computer Entertainment this year. went fully live in all territories last week. I’m on there too if you look hard enough. It’s running at about 1,000 registrations a day right now […]

I’d Rather Stick a Drill in My Thumb

by on January 15, 2005

Standard & Poor’s site is larded up to the eyeballs with JavaScript and Flash, and (surprise!) is a broken wreak of a site because of it. Firefox users can’t sign up for one thing. I mailed them about that, naturally, while the chances of them replying properly are of course zero. At least they show you a warning – and a picture of somebody attacking their thumb with a dentist’s drill. Are their designers trying to tell you something?