Good design starts with comprehensible data visualization. As Ken O’Grady put it in his latest book, The Information Design Handbook, the best information design goes unnoticed by the viewer because it conveys information quickly and effectively.
Graphs and charts are frequently used to visualize information, but design tactics are not what they used to be. These diagrams are no longer just simple 2D images with linear narratives. Along with increased interactivity in media, information designers are forced to think harder about effective design and engagement strategies to reach highly active audiences with increasingly short attention spans.
Though I can’t help you pinpoint your data, purpose, strategy and audience, I have compiled a quick list of easy tools you can use to illustrate your information in a more dynamic way.
- Creately will not only lets you create anything from a concept map to an office network diagram with quick templates, but it lets you collaborate with your team using things like post-it notes and built-in commenting. Oh yeah, and it’s free.
- This free online diagramming tool lets you easily drag and drop to create flow charts, sitemaps, business process modeling notation, wireframes and organization charts. The pro version will cost you but you’ll get import your own symbols and export to JPG or PNG formats.
- Google Spreadsheets let you create and insert charts that can easily show motion and progress over time.
- It’s not free, but they do offer a complimentary trial. It makes up for it with what it offers in interactivity and integration.
Do you have any favorites you would like to add to the list?