Interactive data visualization should be eye-catching, dynamic, and interesting if its to catch the user’s attention. Well designed visualizations help provide information that may not be uncovered using a spreadsheet, reports, or graphs. Let’s look at some of the most effective interactive data visualization tips.
1. Plan your Interactive data visualization
Before creating any kind of visual representation, you need to start by brainstorming. Determine exactly who your target audience is and what type of information they are likely to be looking for. It’s also a good idea to think about the information you want to convey; what are you planning to tell your audience?
2. Choose your charts or graphs
Before jumping in and designing your interactive data visualization, you’ll also need to think about how you’re going to display your information. Carefully choose a format that will make the data easier to read and understand.
Your visualization should tell a story and answer any critical questions your audience is likely to have. Choose a pie chart or bar graph that provides useful business insights. Bar charts may be the best choice if your data can be split into multiple categories. Bullet charts may be a better option if you’re plotting your business’s progress against a pre-determined goal. In contrast, line graphs help to connect data points.
3. Design tips for interactive data visualization
In addition to charts and graphs in your interactive data visualization, you may want to use images, video, box plots, and maps. While it’s nice to be creative, especially if you want to stand out from your competitors, it’s also wise to use predictable patterns and layouts. People like to be able to gather information at a glance, and making your visualization too complicated could make it harder to understand.
Ensure that any connections between your data are clear and concise so that your viewers don’t get lost easily.
Color is essential to interactive data visualization as it can help to draw the eye to a certain point. It’s best to keep colors simple; using a limited color pattern may help, rather than making everything brightly colored. Use a bold color to highlight some important information. Color is instrumental if you’re showing temperatures; red can indicate the hottest temperature, and blue the coolest with various orange and yellow shades in between. Choices can also affect the way your presentation is perceived.
Shapes and size
Shapes of various sizes can help viewers to decipher information at a glance. Instead of using a bar chart, you may like to use different sized shapes to represent the information you want to share. Size can be used to represent scaled data values. You may like to use maps of different countries to indicate values for other areas, towns, continents of countries.
4. Using text
Choose your text carefully and use words sparingly. Text can either help improve your interactive data visualization or can make it look cluttered. Too much text can be very distracting, so ensure your text is well organized and visually pleasing. You may like to use bullet points or captions to explain graphs and images.
Creating an effective data visualization using the above tips will help your data stand out and demand attention. Here’s one more quick tip: people generally view information from the top left-hand corner down; it’s, therefore, a good idea to put the most essential information at the top of the page.