How do we create new ways of looking at the world? Join award-winning data storyteller RJ Andrews as he pushes beyond the usual how-to, and takes you on an adventure into the rich art of informing.
Creating Info We Trust is a craft that puts the world into forms that are strong and true. It begins with maps, diagrams, and charts - but must push further than dry defaults to be truly effective. How do we attract attention? How can we offer audiences valuable experiences worth their time? How can we help people access complexity?
Dark and mysterious, but full of potential, data is the raw material from which new understanding can emerge. Become a hero of the information age as you learn how to dip into the chaos of data and emerge with new understanding that can entertain, improve, and inspire. Whether you call the craft data storytelling, data visualization, data journalism, dashboard design, or infographic creation - what matters is that you are courageously confronting the chaos of it all in order to improve how people see the world. Info We Trust is written for everyone who straddles the domains of data and people: data visualization professionals, analysts, and all who are enthusiastic for seeing the world in new ways.
This book draws from the entirety of human experience, quantitative and poetic. It teaches advanced techniques, such as visual metaphor and data transformations, in order to create more human presentations of data. It also shows how we can learn from print advertising, engineering, museum curation, and mythology archetypes. This human-centered approach works with machines to design information for people. Advance your understanding beyond by learning from a broad tradition of putting things “in formation” to create new and wonderful ways of opening our eyes to the world.
Info We Trust takes a thoroughly original point of attack on the art of informing. It builds on decades of best practices and adds the creative enthusiasm of a world-class data storyteller. Info We Trust is lavishly illustrated with hundreds of original compositions designed to illuminate the craft, delight the reader, and inspire a generation of data storytellers.
PREFACE ANCIENT ROOTS
0 THE GOAL OF OUR CRAFT Data, story, and the adventure ahead 1
1 DATA SHADOWS Numbers and the past they come from 13
2 INFORMATION MURMURS Arranging data in forms we can read 23
3 EMBODIED ENCODING The power of metaphor 35
4 COUNTING TIME How we experience numbers and time 45
5 WORLD BUILDING Grids and other homes for data 57
6 INFUSE MEANING Up, down, and other spatial meaning 67
7 TRUE COLORS The eye’s seductive potential 79
8 EXPLORE TO CREATEE Seek comparisons and patterns 89
9 CREATE TO EXPLORE Translate and transform to learn more 99
10 UNCERTAIN HONESTY The challenge of qualifying truthfulness 111
11 ENCOUNTER Experience design with museums 125
12 LISTEN Story design with natural selection 133
13 FREEZE Graphic design with propaganda 143
14 CONNECT Emotional design with roughness 151
15 MAKE Explanation design with diagrams 157
16 INSPIRE TRUST Design for believing minds 167
17 IMAGINATION TO IMAGE Explore visual story possibilites 175
18 FOCUS ATTENTION Workshop to the audience 185
19 CREATIVE ROUTINES Daily practices for making new views 197
FINALE BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW 203
How This Book Came to Be