Xavier Ho
2018 / 01 / 05

In November 2017, I was pleased to speak at the Monash SensiLab Forum about my data visualisation work. It was livestreamed at a new venue, and we had double the online viewers than the physical attendance.

This presentation referenced my UNSW talk, "Design as Invitation to Interaction". If you are new to interaction design, and work in or related to education, I urge you to check it out first for background knowledge.

For Visible Science, I walked through my design process, from sketch and conceptualisation to design and implementation. There is a strong emphasis that *programming is creative work*:

Creativity is not only about visual design. It's applied problem solving. It's creating something interesting and novel. It's a little bit crazy.

Being creative is a skill. And skills can be learned, improved, and practiced. You can apply any of the data visualisation guidelines to another field, and find it useful.

Some tips on asking for feedback as a designer:

  • Rotate them: Ask your direct client, your direct colleagues, your friends and family, and your users. Work on a little bit and round robin them, so by the time it's back to your client, it's 3 (at least more than 1) revisions since.
  • Keep up the momentum: Projects are easier when they follow some inertia. If people see progress on a regular basis, they will be more prepared for new things when you have them.
  • Be a listener: When you're asking for feedback, you are after what people think, not to tell what people you think. Be open to both sides of critiques, and make mental notes when you are asked to clarify things - it means they are not apparent to others.

Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.

About the author

Xavier Ho

Xavier Ho is the creator of Roguelike Universe, Smoke and Fire, and other interactive data visualisations. He works at Monash Art, Design and Architecture, often pulling from the intersection of data visualisation, design, society, and systems thinking.

Profile art by Franpaccio.

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