Six degrees of Kevin Bacon: hydrozoan edition

Thank you to Zoe Rose for coming to the Genome Campus. Sketchnotes from her talk…

sketchnotes from Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon (hydrozoan edition)

Sketchnotes from Zoe Rose’s talk “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon (hydrozoan edition)”


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Information wayfinding – Tyler Tate

Tyler Tate - head & shouldersIt was great to have Tyler Tate come and speak on campus again. He was previously here, back in October 2010, speaking about maximising findability, and the “scent of search”.

This time round, Tyler was expanding on some of that thinking, and talked to us about information wayfinding – the concept of helping people locate themselves in an information space, and navigate around it efficiently.

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Notes and resources: designing effective data visualizations

It was great to hear Noah Iliinsky talk about how to apply a design process to data visualisation. He spent three hours with us, starting off with a short talk, and then guiding the audience through applying this design process to their data in a meaningful way.

Noah Iliinsky sharing ideas during his workshop for EBI Interfaces

A fuzzy iPhone photo of Noah Iliinsky sharing ideas during his workshop for EBI Interfaces

Anyone whom I work with will know that I’m often asking “What problem are you trying to solve?“, and this of course applies as well to data visualisation as it does system or interaction design. So it’s no surprise that I find Noah’s work really engaging and inspiring. He talks about understanding your reader (the audience… the “user” – their drivers and needs); understanding your data (its characteristics and dimensions, and the message within that you wish to convey); understanding the choices that you can make as you apply a design process to visualisation, choosing how to convey knowledge and enable action.

Triangulating these gets you most of the way to good data visualisation.

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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.

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Another HSF + UXD workshop on the Genome Campus

Cardsorting – May 3, 2012

In keeping with our workshops on the first Thursday of each month (after HSF), we will run the third User eXperience Design exercise on 3 May at 10:30.

We’ll explore ‘Card Sorting’, which is a method to identify clusterings of important information into subheadings and to design information architectures that make sense to users. It can be done manually or virtually using software.

For example, if you have data like ‘SNPs’, ‘Insertions’, ‘Deletions’, and ‘Structual variants’ you can quickly find out how people would break these up into categories, and what people would name those categories, using this activity. Jenny and Sangya have lots of experience of applying this technique in our field, so come and learn from them.

What: UXD workshop (Card Sorting)

When: Thursday 3 May at 10:30 (we have the room until 12, but people are welcome to stay for a short time if they have other engagements)

Where: M2-03

Come on Thursday!  If you do go to HSF, take advantage of the tea and biscuits just after!

Highlights from Vizbi 2012 – March 30th

The Vizbi 2012 conference was held at EMBL Heidelberg at the beginning of March, and a few of us from the EBI were lucky enough to attend.

In an effort to share some of the ideas we picked up there, we will present a summary of … the whole conference, or our highlights at least! And now… here are the slides:

WHEN: March 30th, 15h00

WHERE: M203, Cairns Pavilion, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus 

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Hands-on UXD workshop – designing for data collections

On March 1st, 2012, we had a different kind of event on the Genome Campus… a joint session between EBI Interfaces and the Hinxton Sequence Forum (HSF) [1], with the aim of giving people practical, hands-on experience of user experience design (UXD) work.

At the EBI, we have developed a lot of on-site expertise in the areas of user research and user experience design. During a recent HSF meeting, members expressed a desire to learn more about user experience design, and how they can take techniques and methods and apply them to their work.


So, it was a bit of an experiment. We had an hour and a half, and a great audience of 50 developers and researchers from both the EBI and the Sanger Institute, and we tried to give them a useful taste of the design process.

The message? Take the time to explore and define a problem before you start developing solutions.

Discussion at the end of the workshop

Discussion at the end of the workshop

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