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10 Principles of Design by Dieter Rams for Data Visualization


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Guest Lecture for the Data Visualization class at Ateneo de Manila University. Basic design principles for Computer Science students. For educational purposes only, no copyright infringement intended.

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10 Principles of Design by Dieter Rams for Data Visualization

  2. 2. WHO IS DIETER RAMS? an influential German industrial designer famous for his work at Braun PosterbyHeyStudio
  3. 3. GOOD DESIGN IS INNOVATIVE 1 The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.
  4. 4. Nicholas Feltron 2012 Annual Report
  5. 5. GOOD DESIGN MAKES A PRODUCT USEFUL 2 A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasises the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.
  6. 6. Nicholas Feltron 2012 Annual Report Reporter App
  7. 7. GOOD DESIGN IS AESTHETIC 3 The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well- being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
  8. 8. Moritz Stefaner Stadtbilder is an attempt to map the digital shape of cities. While traditional maps show us buildings, roads and physical infrastructure, these maps reveal where and in which form the city is alive.
  9. 9. GOOD DESIGN MAKES A PRODUCT UNDERSTANDABLE 4 It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.
  10. 10. Center for Public Integrity The Center for Public Integrity's “Dark Money Inc.” investigation uncovered more than $173 million in political contributions from about one- third of the 300 largest companies in the United States to trade associations and other politically active nonprofits and unveiled ways companies advance their political agendas.
  11. 11. GOOD DESIGN IS UNOBTRUSIVE 5 Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
  12. 12. GOOD DESIGN IS HONEST 6 It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.
  13. 13. GOOD DESIGN IS LONG-LASTING 7 It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.
  14. 14. Harry Beck Original Tube Map Design 1947 London Transport Authority Modern Tube Map Design 2014
  15. 15. Massimo Vignelli New York Subway Diagram 1972 Michael Tyznik Rail Transport in Westeros
  16. 16. GOOD DESIGN IS THOROUGH DOWN TO THE LAST DETAIL 8 Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the user.
  17. 17. Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital in Vienna Global Migration Patterns
  18. 18. GOOD DESIGN IS ENVIRONMENTALLY- FRIENDLY 9 Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
  19. 19. Wizarts This visualization was created for the University of Copenhagen. The design relies on simplicity and functionality, combining the experience of reading the time with the new function of monitoring your building’s energy consumption. In an attempt to nudge the user towards saving energy, progress towards preset energy saving goals is presented to the user every time he or she looks at the clock. Also, GPS is used to coordinate access to the energy consumption data.
  20. 20. GOOD DESIGN IS AS LITTLE DESIGN AS POSSIBLE 10 Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.
  21. 21. schemadesign Transit Patterns (Urban Data Challenge) Public transit ridership over the course of 24 hours in 2012. Activity in San Francisco is more evenly spread out, both spatially and over the course of the day. These insights are useful for city planners and transit authorities, who can see what areas see high and low ridership and understand what areas are underserved by public transit. Visualizations for Geneva and Zurich are also available.