Noah Iliinsky: Data Visualization and Information Design – Episode 89
Noah Iliinsky When you're drowning in data, it's good to have an information designer like Noah Iliinsky looking out for you. Noah takes a human-centered approach to a data visualization, connecting people with information tucked away in massive datasets. His purpose-driven process is designed to help users quickly extract the insights they need from a flood of information. We talked about: his new role as Principal UX Architect at Collibra, a data-governance company how he accidentally wrote a masters thesis about bringing user centered design perspective to diagram design his work with content professionals over the years: mostly technical writers and UX writers his four-pillars process for teaching data visualization (and other design concepts): Purpose (the why) Content (the what) Structure (the how) Formatting (everything else) how he helps users connect to technology with his interface work his goal to help users stop using the tools and artifacts he creates as quickly as possible, so that that they can get on with their lives how "shallow" recommendations can be superior to full-blown guided experiences how he uses UX research in his work, whether he's doing it himself on small projects or working with a team how starting with purpose keeps his information design projects on track the importance of providing context in data visualizations his assertion that in UX design, "If you can't draw the map, you don't understand it well enough to really build a good solution." Noah's bio Noah Iliinsky has spent more than a decade researching, writing, and speaking about effective approaches and best practices for designing data visualizations. He is the co-author of Designing Data Visualizations, and the technical editor of, and a contributor to, Beautiful Visualization, both published by O’Reilly Media. He has a master’s in Technical Communication from the University of Washington, and a bachelor’s in Physics from Reed College. He loves cats, bicycles, and baking. Connect with Noah online Twitter ComplexDiagrams.com website Resources mentioned in this podcast Four Pillars of Visualization article Guaranteed Successful Design talk Video Here’s the video version of our conversation: https://youtu.be/VKdwKhe1XMA Podcast intro transcript We live in a world that is inundated with data. Human-centered designers like Noah Iliinsky turn that sea of data into usable information, helping us discover useful knowledge hiding in those huge datasets. Noah takes a purpose-driven and content-focused approach to guide his process of discovering and revealing the insights in our data. One of the most powerful techniques in his toolkit is data visualization. These visualizations can highlight important information and show connections that other displays might miss. Interview transcript Larry: Hi everyone, welcome to episode number 89 of the Content Strategy Insights podcast. I'm really happy today to have with me my friend, Noah Iliinsky. I know him best as a data visualization guru, but it turns out that he's much more than that. Right now, he currently holds a position of Principal UX Architect at an outfit called Collibra. So welcome Noah, tell the folks a little bit more about yourself and your work at Collibra. Noah: Hi, Larry. Thanks for having me. I've only just started at Collibra, I'm pretty excited to be there. They are a company that does what they call data governance or data management. So you might be a large institution, a bank, or a university or some other large company that's got lots and lots of data from lots and lots of sources. It might be customer transactions, it might be financial records, any number of these other multitude of data sources. And what Collibra does is, it is a catalog of all your data sources that allow someone to come and say, "I need requests on all the transactions we had of October this year from...