July 16 – Designing Effective Data Visualizations: Lecture & Lab

Noah IliinskyI’m very happy to be able to invite you along to what should be a great Interfaces event in mid-July.

I’ll be hosting author, designer and data visualisation specialist, Noah Iliinsky, who has generously offered to give both a talk and a short workshop:

“Designing Effective Data Visualizations: Lecture & Lab”

Noah will introduce some of the basics of the design process and its application to data visualisation, and then you can apply what you’ve learned to your own data, with Noah as a guide.

WHEN: July 16, between 14h and 17h (in fact, probably finishing at 16h)

WHERE: Room M203, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge

[FR – 16/07/2012] – feel free to download all the notes and resources associated with Noah’s talk and workshop.

I will endeavour to organise tables and chairs in that room so that you can comfortably take notes, use your laptop (if you wish), and work with your data. Any volunteers who could help me with room rearrangement before and after, please let me know!

Not working on the Genome Campus?

As usual, you are welcome to attend this event even if you are not working on Campus, but please let me know in advance. I need to inform Campus Security as soon as possible.


Please have a specific project or data set to consider, and be able to write things down (either on paper or on screen).


This talk is a jumpstart lesson on how to get from a blank page and a pile of data to a useful data visualization. We’ll focus on the design process, not specific tools. We will discuss how to figure out what story to tell, select the right data, and pick appropriate encodings.

The goal is to learn how to create a visualization that conveys appropriate knowledge to a specific audience (which may include the designer). We’ll briefly discuss tools, including pencil and paper. No prior technology or graphic design experience is necessary.


We’ll apply the conversation from the Lecture portion,  walking through the previously-discussed process with coaching and conversations about your specific data and audience.


Noah Iliinsky is the co-author of Designing Data Visualizations and technical editor of, and a contributor to, Beautiful Visualization, published by O’Reilly Media (the latter is in the Sanger library, if you  want to have a look).

He has spent the last several years thinking about effective approaches to creating diagrams and other types of information visualizations.

He also works in interface and interaction design, all from a functional and user-centered perspective. Before becoming a designer he was a programmer for several years. He has a master’s in Technical Communication from the University of Washington, and a bachelor’s in Physics from Reed College.

I’ll look forward to seeing lots of you there!


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