Cambridge University Design / UX group

Keep on reading…

This blog still has some activity from readers, but since I have left the University, I am no longer writing for it. No-one else has taken it on, so it has somewhat withered!

However, you can keep on reading about UX design, data visualization, usability, etc, especially as applied to scientific web sites and applications, over at the EBI Interfaces blog, where I write a lot thesedays.

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More good talks

Here we go – two more upcoming talks in Cambridge, and a video of a great talk Jeffrey Veen gave recently.
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Computational Information Design write-up

Ben Fry – Computational Information Design

Making sense of huge datasets! (Microsoft Research, Cambridge, 23.04.2009)

Well, that was a pretty impressive talk. Visualising the information contained within massive sets of data is a big challenege, and something that researchers in a range of fields face every day. Designers can help to bridge the gap between aesthetics and functionality, and help make information usable.

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In an admittedly geeky way, I really like good infographics. I actually read those leaflets on planes and trains!

A project in New York has produced a series of quite extensive infographics which seek to explain various complicated things using minimum text.

The example I looked at covers information for street vendors [PDF] in the city –  the different kinds, licensing, the law, history, etc. A significant part of the target audience is foreign, so conveying information effectively using imagery was very important for the project.

It crossed my mind that this might be good here, to explain different aspects of the University. Staff and students get LOTS of [textual] information when they arrive, and for non-native English speakers, parts of it must be a challenge. Could some of that information communicated using infographics? It makes me wonder…

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Ben Fry – “Exploring the role of visualisation in research”

A bit last minute, but Ben Fry is giving a talk over at Microsoft Research (on JJ Thompson Ave, just off Madingley Rd… you can take the Uni 4 bus there) this Thursday, at 11am. The large lecture theatre there has 126 seats, so lots of space – no need to register, I am assured: just turn up.

I think this talk is part of the Joined-Up Ecology seminar, which is running this week. From the abstract, this talk looks really interesting, and although it doesn’t mention ecology, it does mention data visualisation, design, and bringing together disparate approaches…
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